Shawls are called rebozos or perraje (depending on the village, how they are made and who wears them). Many are made on foot-looms and some are made on back-strap looms. Most today are made of cotton or a cotton/acrylic mixture. Some also have wool or silk in their weave.
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.
am still learning how to distinguish shawls from different areas of Guatemala.
Information on shawls is harder to come by than other types of
textiles. Many shawls seem to come
from Totonicapan and Quetzaltenango and neighboring villages in the Western
towns make shawls for their own use plus make shawls in patterns and
colors favored by other villages. Many of
the shawls made in these areas feature strong colored stripes with jaspe (ikat)
designs of chevrons or muneca figures. Other villages weave
their own shawls and other villages do not include shawls as part
of their traje.
Often a woman may wear a shawl from another village if she is cold or happens to
like the colors and design.
Often a woman may wear a shawl from another village if she is cold or happens to like the colors and design.
How can you use a
shawl? You can do the obvious and
wear it. Shawls also make nice wall hangings and good table runners (suggest one
without pom-poms, or you can remove them).
Some of the shawls that Terra Experience has for sale are shown below.
Click on the pictures to get more information.