The Tzutujil Maya villages of San Pedro and San Pablo la Laguna are located on the south side of Lake Atitlan. The two towns have taken quite different paths to development, however. San Pedro has fully adopted to the tourist environment, with many hostels, restaurants and art galleries mostly catering to younger travellers. San Pablo, on the other hand, has remained quite traditional and openly hostile to tourism. Thus the San Pedro traditional huipils are becoming difficult to find. Those from San Pablo are still available, but only vendors with friends in the village are able to buy them for resale.
This traditional ca. 1980 San Pablo huipil was hand-woven on a backstrap loom in 2 panels, the white foundation cotton material exhibiting strong weft ridging due to variable thickness of the weft threads. The fancy lace collar of commercial fabric was added after the head-hole was cut, and the decoration around the arm-holes applied by hand. All embroidery on this older huipil is by machine. The colored weft threads are of metallic or plastic threads.
Dimensions: approximately 28 inches across the shoulder but tapering to 24 inches across the body, and about 19 inches shoulder to hem.
Condition: two of the lower edges are nicely selvage-finished, the other two have a short warp fringe; their is some light soil and a few stain spots, but nothing major; this is a quite authentic example of a disappearing textile