One of Guatemala’s signatures are the Mayan textiles. The Mayan descendants wear traditional suits considered as pieces of art! Traveling thru Guatemala you will knowdest that these communities wear such artisanal fabrics in their daily lives. It is also a symbol of social stratification. It can also be appreciated a variety of designs between each indigenous community. Each indigenous town has their own special design pattern which also has its own history and reason for using certain design elements like flowers, birds and patterned lines. The story starts when the Spanish invaded these lands as when they arrived they found so many different Mayan groups according to their languages which made it difficult identifying each one of them. The Spanish created a structure of identification by designing for each community suits with specific colors and blouses or Guipiles.

Many Mayan women wraparound in a nearly ankle-length skirts woven with tie-dyed threads topped with a cotton or rayon blouse embroidered with flower or birds motifs around the neck, or spread beautifully in a harmonious way. The huipil is hand woven on a backstrap loom and consists of two panels sewn together on the sides, leaving openings for the arms and head. This is embroidered with designs that identify their communities, social status or stories told about the life of their ancestors. Along with their suits, they wear sandals which are made with leather in its natural color, and accessorize with jewelry made in combinations of sterling silver with jade pieces and other local stones, seeds or various natural elements.

Men are more likely to dress in a Western style. They wear cowboy hats, boots, and shirts. In the more remote highland areas, many men continue to wear the clothing inherited by their ancestral culture. The Culture Preservation Programs have reinforced the use of traditional clothing as it means of asserting their identity. In the surrounding villages of Antigua there are some indigenous communities that you can visit and appreciate these cultural characteristics of them! San Antonio Aguas Calientes and Santa María de Jesús are two communities in the surrounding of Antigua which you can go to and see their textiles and way of living.

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