What clothes did the ancient Mayans wear?

Colorful Mayan weaving art

Elaborate weaving techniques and colorful patterns are hallmarks of Mayan textiles from the highlands of Guatemala, which are considered to be the most important and diverse in all of Latin America. In the State Museum of Ethnology in Munich, from April 21st, textiles from the Avitabile Collection will be presented in the new permanent exhibition Latin America.

When the Spanish invaders invaded Latin America, the clothing there also changed fundamentally. New materials such as silk and new techniques were used, and in colonial times women and men had to fully adapt to western dressing habits. Anyone seeking public office was required to have a jacket, long trousers, shoes and a hat. Soon men wore their traditional costumes less often or in some cases not at all. The new Mayan clothing gradually emerged from the mixture of cultures. Today women wear traditional clothes again - consisting of a long and wide blouse Huipil, a wrapped skirt and a sash. Even today, the fabrics provide information about the age of the wearer, about her social position in the community and the reason for wearing it.

The Guiseppe and Gunhild Avitabile collection forms the basis for the new permanent exhibition. It was created between 1984 and 1986 when Guiseppe Avitabile was the Italian ambassador in Guatemala. Back then, his wife bought the textiles directly from the weavers. With around 150,000 objects, the State Museum of Ethnology in Munich is the second largest museum of ethnology in Germany. The collections include objects from a large number of non-European countries; These include both outstanding individual items and entire collections of individual researchers and travelers.

April 21, 2010

© beim.de