Huipil, probably for a figure of the Virgin of the Rosary

Maya -- Kaqchikel
c. 1925–1935
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General Description

Modern Maya religious practice generally blends pre-Hispanic rituals and beliefs with Spanish Catholicism introduced after the 16th century. Particular Catholic saints are venerated in each Maya community, cared for by a local religious brotherhood, or cofradía. Miniature Maya vestments are often made as tribute for statues of the saints. The clothing may include shirts, headcloths, and tunic-like blouses, or huipiles. These huipiles were dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary.

These miniature huipiles demonstrate the intricately brocaded designs central to Maya textile arts. The designs reference a particular Maya community, in this case the Kaqchikel Maya from San Pedro Sacatepéquez in the department of Guatemala. The embroidery on these contemporary huipiles contrasts between traditional geometric patterns and figural forms of birds, deer, and flowers.

Excerpt from

Kimberly L. Jones, Label text, 2017, A. H. Meadows Galleries.

Fun Facts

  • This textile is one width, four-selvedged, warp-faced plain weave with warp stripes and supplementary-weft patterning. The small, bound hole below the neckline is a symbolic reference to a tiny Christ child held by the figure of the Virgin.
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