Lidia Lopez Teaching the Art of Backstrap Loom Weaving

Lidia Lopez is a Mayan woman from Guatemala. She is very experienced weaving on a backstrap loom and teaches people from around the world the art of weaving. Here she is demonstrating the technique she uses to a group of visiting Americans and Japanese women.

Lidia Lopez Demonstrating the Backstrap Loom Method of Weaving

Lidia Lopez is a Mayan woman who lives in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Guatemala. Here she is demonstrating the backstrap loom, a method of weaving Maya Indians have used for centuries to create beautiful textiles. She not only teaches visitors how to weave, she also dedicates most of her time teaching the children in Guatemala. Weaving is important to the Mayan culture because it is the method used to make the peoples’ traditional clothing, called traje. Also, it is a source many Guatemalan women rely on to support their families financially.

Maria Wearing a Huipil and Holding Pineapple Cake

Woman in Traditional Dress With Pineapple Cake

Maria is showing off the beautiful (and tasty) pineapple upside down cake she baked. She is dressed in traditional Mayan clothing called ‘traje.’ Her pink top is called a huipil. Huipils are handmade and reflect the wearer’s personality and what village she is from.

Guatemalan Woman and her Daughters Wearing Traditional Mayan Clothing

Girls Wearing Huipils.

This is a woman with her two young girls dressed in traditional Guatemalan clothing. The tops women wear are called huipils. They are made from panels of textiles handwoven on a backstrap loom. Each huipil is unique and decorated with intricate brocade designs.

Guatemalan Woman Winding Spun Cotton Thread Around a Spindle

Guatemalan Woman Winding Spun Cotton Thread Around Spindle Before Weaving on Backstrap Loom

The beautiful Huipils and other textiles made by the Mayan women of Guatemala are all hand made. The first step in the process is to clean and spin raw cotton into thread. The thread is then dyed and wrapped around a spindle so it can be managed easier when weaving on a backstrap loom.