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Blouse (huipil): Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Created late in the 20th century, these two huipiles clearly illustrate the two distinct weaving styles of San Antonio Aguas Calientes. Traditionally, huipiles featured finely patterned geometric motifs such as zigzags and bands of chevrons. However, in the 1930s, women began appropriating European-inspired designs from imported needlework pattern books. These realistic renderings of flowers, birds, fish, fruit, and cherubs were initially used sparingly. Today, it is not uncommon to see these designs covering the entire surface of a garment.While the traditional, geometric patterns are woven in a single-face weaving technique, the new designs are created using a complex technique called marcador. This style of weaving produces a sturdy double-faced (reversible) fabric. Instead of relying on memorized patterns handed down from generation to generation, marcador designs are worked from graphs in the same manner as a counted cross-stitch or needlepoint pattern.Women from Aguas Calientes are among the most prolific weavers in Guatemala, producing textiles for local, regional, and international markets. Thus, these huipiles have become popular throughout the Mayan Highlands, and confer a degree of status to those wealthy enough to purchase one.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009