Large woman's faja or sash with dynamic design
Maya women in Guatemala weave a wide varitey of fajas (sashes and belts) for wrapping around the waist to hold up the skirt. Similarly, a wide variety of styles of cintas are woven as hair ornaments. Both are woven by hand on narrow looms made in dimensions especially for the specific item. Like huipiles, the designs are also often village-specific; though in towns such as Totonicapan and Jacaltenango, a variety of belts and hair-ties are woven for general use throughout the highlands.
This particular faja was woven in Chajul for use by its women. Such wide and long sashes are a signature item of clothing for these Ixil women. This particular sash is 122 inches long and 8.5 inches wide at the widest point. The foundation is dark red cotton of a special lustrous and supple thread called aleman, the bright brocaded designs appear to be mostly polished cotton but may also contain some synthetic. It dates from post-1980, and is in very good though used condition. There is thus some wear and some light soil.