We’re still smitten with reader Lolly’s textile-themed trip to Peru from a few months ago, so we were glad to see Laura Morelli’s recent shopping column about weavers in Guatemala continue along that thread.
Mayas in the Guatemalan highlands are still weaving beautiful textiles much the same way as their ancestors did 1,200 years ago. Today, women weave cotton and wool on a backstrap loom, which is looped around the weaver, who sits on the ground. Many weavers now use chemical dyes to color the fibers, though some still use natural dyes derived from moss, bark, and other plants. Learn more about what to look for when buying traditional handmade Guatemalan textiles, like the huipil (pronounced “wee-peel”) in Laura Morelli’s column, The Genuine Article, and how to find handmade crafts anywhere in our Authentic Shopping Guide. To see more photos of Guatemala, check out Peter McBride’s Guatemala photo gallery.
Photo: Sergio Pitamitz/CORBIS