This is a Mayan family in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Guatemala. Lidia Lopez and her sisters are making tortillas to accompany a traditional meal called Pepian (also spelled Pipian.) In Guatemala, corn is served with almost every meal, often in the form of tortillas. Not only is corn commonly grown by families in rural areas, but the people of Guatemala also have a special relationship with corn dating back centuries. According to the traditional Maya religion, the gods first made men out of mud, then wood. But neither material worked. Finally, men were created from corn, and some Mayan people today still believe their flesh was once made from corn.
The Guatemalan woman in this photo is weaving on a backstrap loom, just as her Mayan ancestors have done for centuries.
Lidia Lopez describing the meanings of the patterns on a huipil from Patzicia, Guatemala.
This woman is wearing a traditional style huipil and showing off her freshly baked pineapple upside down cake.
Women in Guatemala begin weaving by creating a ‘warp’ out of yarn. They wind the yarn around pegs on a warping board, crossing the strings in the middle to create a striped pattern. The warp is then attached to the bars of the loom and they are ready to begin the weaving process.
A tradtional Guatemalan family cooking Pepian and making tortillas.
Lidia Lopez teaching visitors how to set up and weave on a backstrap loom.