For Two Thousand Years

Did you know that Maya women have been weaving for over two thousand years?  Weaving was considered an art form among high ranking ancient Maya women.

In the early 1500’s when Spanish conquistadores arrived, they encountered incredibly beautiful weavings.  There have been many changes in types of threads and designs over the centuries, but the basic backstrap loom has undergone little change.

In my many visits to the Maya villages in Chiapas, Mexico, I saw these incredible textiles being worn every day by the Maya women and girls. They wear their heritage proudly, and some weavers have rediscovered and resurrected ancient symbols in their weaving. Other weavers, such as the women of the village of Zinacantán , have added beautiful machine embroidery flowers to their basic woven cloth thereby creating a whole new textile art form that is possible through the advent of the sewing machine.

In my next blog I will tell you about Maria who is a weaver and has experienced human rights abuses which are experienced by a vast number of Maya women.

Coming soon will be an announcement about my upcoming exhibit of Maya women and their textiles.

For more images of Maya women and their beautiful textiles visit .

Girls from the Maya village of Zinacantán

2 thoughts on “For Two Thousand Years

  1. Beautiful textiles, Marie! Is there also a separate tradition from weaving in what looks like embroidery?

    1. Thank you for your question, Diane. Much of what you think is embroidery is a complex weaving technique. The machine embroidery is, of course, new to the last 60 years of so.
      Hand stitching is used on some garments, but it is not so common.

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