Maya of Chenalhó

Located along the banks of a stream at the base of a steep valley, the community of San Pedro Chenalhó is a major market center for the Tzotzil Maya. With San Andrés, it is also one of the centers of the Central Highlands Style, defined by the bold red and blue diamond motif on the breast and back and by the densely packed representational designs on the sleeves and shoulders. Although the ceremonial huipil of Chenalhó has remained virtually unchanged for over a century, the shawl and daily blouse have become the focus for design innovations. Such patterns as holy cross, dog's paw, and saint now float across the shawl, while the once simple work around the neck and hem of the daily blouse has grown more ornate.
(top right) Chenalhó woman spinning yarn.
(bottom right) Chenalhó weaver with backstrap loom.

Textile Design

(above) A brocaded design of the toad who guards the entrance to the Earthlord's cave.

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