Cofradia huipil from Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan, the sister village of Nahuala. It is located on the south side of the Pan-American highway, and separated from its sister city a number of years ago due to doctrinal and territorial disputes.
This post-1980 woman's huipil was hand-woven on a backstrap loom. The foundation fabric is very fine white cotton. The finely-brocaded geometric designs were added during the weaving process using the technique of supplemental-weft brocading. All brocading is of cotton and artificial silk. The huipil consists of three panels, seemed at the edges to form the garment. Four of the lower panel edges are very nicely selvage-finished, the other two are lightly hemmed. The original adornment around the head- and arm-holes is retained. The stitching under the arm-holes is still present, so that the garment can be used as originally intended. Most huipiles from this very traditional Maya village are of two panels; only the cofradia and other ceremonial huipiles are 3 panels wide. According to Krystyna Deuss, cofradia participation ended in Nahuala in 1996. The Nahuala woman from whom I bought this garment in 2019 said that the same is true of Santa Catariona.
Measurements: 32 inches wide and 30-31 inches shoulder to hem. Cofradia huipiles are often of larger size since they may be worn over another garment.
Condition: Very Good, showing some light use, some very slight soil is possible, some few loose threads. Both sides are pictured, even though the brocaded designs and overall layout are only slightly different. There is some moderate running in the color from the purple threads. The women of Nahuala and Santa Catarina do not find this objectionable, and actually seem to admire this trait, since the color runs emulate what happens to old silk threads when washed. This is a very finely woven example, a very special offering of a traditional type garment which is becoming increasingly scarce as fewer young women are interested in doing the tedious hand-weaving.