San Antonio Aguas Calientes

Location: San Antonio Aguas Calientes


The book Indian Costumes of Guatemala is a collection of 60 lithograph plates of costumes sketched from life by the author in an attempt to document the native costume of this country. It is rich with description and information about the costume in general and the individual costumes specifically. The author tell us that:

"The drawings reproduced in this book illustrate costumes whose exact origins are unknown. Although outside influences, largely Spanish, have contributed to their development, their basic simplicity of construction, and possibly some symbolic designs, date to a period before the Conquest" (IX). Additionally, she informs us that "In Central America, Guatemala is the one country whose Maya-Quiché Indians have been strong enough to survive and to preserve their ancient customs of living and dress despite foreign conquest, natural disasters, and the encroachment of modern civilization" (IX).

The female dress depicted here is from the region of San Antonio Aguas Calientes where, we learn, "textiles unusually fine workmanship. Outstanding among them are the huipiles" (48). Additionally, she explains in the introduction:

"The most important part of the woman's costume is the native-style blouse called a huipil. It is important to the woman who spends long hours at her stick loom weaving the material, and it is important because the huipil is usually the most elaborately patterned and strikingly colorful part of the costume" (15).

The tradition of weaving and wearing these garments has endured for years upon years, and we can hope that it continues to this day and beyond.

Book Title: Indian Costumes of Guatemala

Plate Number: Plate 9

Call Number: F1465.3.C8 W6