This is a great example of a traditional Guatemalan household. The people in the video are Lidia Lopez and her family from San Antonio Aguas Calientes making Pepian and tortillas. They are dressed in ‘traje’ which is traditional clothing Mayan women have worn for centuries. This household is very indicative of many of the homes in Guatemala today.
Woman in Guatemala have passed down their traditional dress called ‘traje’ for centuries. The tops are called ‘huipils’ and the skirts are ‘cortes’. The Mayan culture has used the same techniques of weaving textiles for generations and continue to do so today. The intricate brocade decor on the huipils varies slightly from village to village, but the patterns and their meanings have not changed since the classic Maya period. Not only is traje an important component of the Guatemalan culture, the tradition of weaving provides a viable income for the weavers and artisans who make these textiles to provide for their families.
Guatemalan women have been weaving on backstrap looms for centuries. They first start with raw cotton that they clean, dye, and spin. The dry thread is wound around a yarn winder to keep it from tangling while they weave it in and out of the pegs on a warping board. This warp will be set on the bars of the backstrap loom, and then they can begin the process of weaving Huipils and other beautiful textiles.
The Guatemalan woman in this photo is making thread from cotton. The cotton is pulled and spun creating a continuous thread that is then dyed and finally used to create the beautiful huipils that we offer to you on this website.