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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

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trousers

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Am1980,07.163

  • Description

    Calf-length trousers woven on a backstrap loom in white cotton with red pin-stripes. The trousers are held up at the waist by a drawstring, and a gusset is inserted between the legs. A large diamond design is brocaded in purple on the lower edges, bordered by a few lines of pointed twill in green and purple.

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  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 71 centimetres
    • Length: 77 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Hecht 2001
    San Martín Sacatepéquez, also known as San Martín Chile Verdi, is a Mam village 19km from Quezaltenango. The village was completely destroyed in 1902 when the Santa Maria volcano erupted, an event recalled in a vivid description by Pettersen’s father in her book, Maya of Guatemala (Pettersen, 1976, 212-15).
    Perhaps due to the comparative isolation of the village the men, as well as the women, still wear traditional costume woven on the backstrap loom. There are seven pieces from San Martín Sacatepéquez in the museum collection: three women’s huipils; a man’s shirt and trousers; a red cotton belt; and a wrap.

    Brocading a large design over pin-striped material leads to a curious visual effect in which red lines, not covered by the brocading yarn, appear in unexpected places in the ground weave parts of the design.

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  • Bibliography

    • Hecht 2001 p.19 bibliographic details
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1980

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Am1980,07.163

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Object reference number: ESA26354

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