Huipil (pronounced wee-peel) is the Spanish word for the traditional blouses worn by Mayan women for many centuries. They’re still prominent in Guatemala and a few other Latin American cultures today. The style and decorative nature of the huipil vary hugely from one indigenous group to another. The bright colors and symbols of huipils are traditional and each huipil reflects the origin and home of the weaver.
When a huipil is finished it is a work of art and can sometimes take months to complete. I purchased this huipil remnant at the weekly textile market in Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala in 2000. There are many indigenous groups surrounding Lake Atitlan that participate in this market, and I don’t know which group produced this beauty, the women who sell at this market all speak Mayan, and because they are from different indigenous groups there are different dialects.
I don’t speak Mayan, but it certainly had to be created by a group who live fairly near the lake. I sure hope that the market is still in existence because it is a treasure trove of ethnic textiles. I have upcycled this beauty by adding colorful decorative braid, hand stitching with a few beads, and a long 10-inch black fringe. This is a really fun statement piece.
More About the Artist
Zazzu Zazzu is all about color, texture, imperfections, signs of wear and age, from the sacred to the mundane, all the intricate details that combine to make the tapestry of life most interesting. I am always curious about the story behind the various elements I use in my designs and the story it will have going forward. Here you will find an eclectic collection of upcycled, one of a kind, accessories. My collections include jewelry, belts, and bags. You will also occasionally find upcycled clothing and original design leather items. My intention is for this space to provide a visually sumptuous experience.
See more items from Zazzu Zazzu’s Virtual Storefront at Sacramento.Shop/Zazzu