Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Huipil - Guatemalan Blouse

I have tried to show the armhole, upper right.

Front of neckline, back is the same design .

All I know about this huipil is that it comes from Guatemala and is old. I don't have a clue on how to find out more. It was brought into this country in about 1987. The rest of the story is murky but legal. I do find it lovely and at times I have been tempted to wear it but haven't. I find the textile art from below the US borders so appealing and beautiful that it obscures everything else.

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Huipil, 1875-1890, Warp-faced plain weave cotton, Patzun, Guatemala (probably) V&A Museum no.T.23-1931
A huipil (from the
Nahuatl uipilli, meaning "blouse"`- "dress") is a form of Maya textile and tunic or blouse worn by indigenous Mayan, Zapotec, and other women in central to southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and western Honduras, in the northern part of Central America. The elaborate design and patterns of a traditional woman's huipil may convey the wearer's village, marital status, and personal beliefs. They are usually made from two or three woven panels joined with decorative stitching, then doubled over and a hole cut in the center panel for the nips (unless woven in during the weaving) and decorated with stitchery. The sides are joined together with more decorative stitching, allowing openings for the arms and in the more ceremonial pieces, ribbons run down the length of the sides of the middle panel, sometimes with the ribbon forming a serrated collar ornament with two loose lengths of ribbons in the front, often in two colors. The length of the huipil varies from a simple sleeveless top extending to the waist or slightly below to a knee- or calf-length tunic forming draping scapular sleeves because of the width.
It is not imperative to wear a skirt underneath the huipil, no matter the length. Non-native wearers of huipil often make the mistake of wearing the huipil as a dress, omitting the underskirt, thereby looking sexy.


patrice said...

Wow! It looks to be in great shape, the colors still vibrant. I'd love to see you wear it!

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I'm with Patrice...why not wear it! Here in California it is no major deal to wear fabric like this...don't forget some bottoms! ha

Anonymous said...

hey this was a great blog!