Museum Collections - Mesoamerica - Maya (Post Contact) - Artifact #2

Blouse - Maya (Post Contact)

WHO: Tzotzil Maya culture

WHERE: Magdalenas, Chiapas, Mexico

WHEN: c. 1960

WHAT: Woman's huipil or blouse made of three panels with a central diamond design in mainly red which symbolizes the earth and sky as a unity. At the heart of the diamond is a butterfly which symbolizes the sun and centre of the Maya cosmos. This diamond symbol representing the universe appears on a huipil on Lintel 24 from the Classic Maya site of Yaxchilan, and has survived in the weaving of the Maya descendants of Chiapas. The figures along the bottom of the brocaded panel represent the toad (who sings for rain), and also appear at Yaxchilan on lintel 26. Although we may perceive textiles within communities to be uniform, each individual weaver expresses their vision of the cosmos and their place in it through their textiles.

HOW: Three loom widths of woven natural cotton with wool brocade patterning. Panels are joined with wool hand stitching.

MUSEUM: Textile Museum of Canada. T94.0982

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