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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.
- Found/Acquired: San Martin Sacatepequez
- (Americas,Central America,Guatemala,Quezaltenango,San Martin Sacatepequez)
- Width: 71 centimetres
- Length: 77 centimetres
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.
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
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Object reference number: ESA26354
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