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Article: Mayan Weaving Traditions

Mayan Weaving Traditions

Mayan Weaving Traditions

Meet Dominga. This amazing woman (with an awesome sense of humor) helped preserve the cultural textile tradition in Guatemala. We are happy to share a portion of her weavings with you, some of which are nearly 50 years old and so beautifully crafted.

While in Guatemala last Spring, the GLOBAL Trunk traveled to Lake Atitlan. We first arrived in Panajachel, the main town by the lake where Laura, the fabricator of our Mayan Heirloom Pillows, works and lives with her family.

There are many other towns near the lake that are most easily accessible by water taxi from Pana. For textile lovers, it was such an immense joy to visit San Juan La Laguna, an indigenous community lined with female-run weaving co-ops who produce beautiful textiles.

This is where we first met Dominga, a matriarch of the community, who taught many women around the lake to weave. In fact, she passed on her knowledge of backstrap weaving to our fabricator, Laura, when Laura was young. Dominga made her textiles from locally sourced cotton and was a big proponent of using natural dyes.

From the Washington Post:

 “When I was younger, women only cooked,” Dominga says. “Now they have freedom to weave and make finer work.”

She seems pleased to have given her daughters a semblance of stability and autonomy in a country where women are often marginalized. “I taught them the work that I do and now, gracias a Dios, they all have their own shops,” she says, proudly.

According to the Washington Post, "There are somewhere around 35 co-ops operating in San Juan, consisting of anywhere from three to 75 women each, most belonging to the Mayan Tzutujil people."

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