How can you use a
shawl?You can do the obvious and
wear it. Shawls also make nice wall hangings and good table runners.Some of the shawls that Terra Experience has for sale that are made in
the Totonicapan and
Quetzaltenango are shown below.
Others can be found at our General Shawl
Shawls serve many functions
in Guatemala.A girl or woman
can use a shawl as an easy tote to carry small loads to and from the market.Often the bundle is a small sleeping baby that is held close to Mama or
an older sister as they run errands, do the many tasks and chores that everyday
life in the Mayan culture require, or weave on a back-strap loom.At other times, when the wind carries a chill, the shawl is easily
slipped on and then off again, as the sun comes from behind a cloud or during
the midlife change when body temperatures fluctuate.The shawl is also a decorative addition to the traditional huipil and
corte (skirt) that many Mayan girls and women wear.In some villages, such as Santiago Atitlan, the decorative function seems
to be most important since the shawl is worn most often over the shoulder.
Shawls are called rebozos
or perraje (depending on the village, how they are made and who wears them).
Some shawls are very distinct to the village where they are made and worn
(Santiago Atitlan, Chajul, .... and others) and are usually made on a back-strap
loom of cotton. Other shawls are of styles worn throughout the
highlands. These are most often made on a foot-loom. They have jaspe
patterns (cotton) between stripes of various solid colors (often acrylic or
rayon or some mixture).
am still learning how to distinguish shawls from different areas of Guatemala.Information about shawls is harder to come by than other types of
textiles. Most shawls on this page
are probably woven on a foot loom and in the Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango
areas. I generally use the following characteristics to
determine where a shawl is probably made:
Totonicapán - Usually
shawls with solid color stripes and jaspe (ikat) stripes that have
multifaceted doll figures (munecas), tree of life and many other
symbols in the tie-tied threads. Sometimes shawls are all jaspe
threads without solid stripes.
Usually shawls with solid color stripes and jaspe (ikat) stripes that have
primarily chevron designs.
Quetzaltenango make shawls for their own use plus make shawls in patterns and
colors favored by other villages.
Someday I hope there I can find better ways to identify where a shawl was made
and the community for which it was made.
Click on the pictures below to see a more detailed picture.
Note - The pompoms on the
ends of the shawls are usually made of colored yarn, some synthetic, some
cotton. If you like them and one is missing its easy to replace. If you
prefer the shawl without them (maybe to use as a table runner), they are usually
easy to remove.
length 54", width
Probably made in Totonicapan because of
multifaceted ikat design with munecas (doll figures).
Small Girl's Rebozo
----length 20", width 15"---
nice looking shawl, but moderate wear especially along one selvage edge
where minus several pompoms. Probably made in Totonicapan because of
multifaceted ikat design.