Indigenous Guatemalan Pants

Indigenous Guatemalan Pants

If you only browse the Indigenous category you will find 58 photos and hundreds more if you browse all 901 consecutive days since May 1st, 2006, but I am almost sure this is the first photo I shown of an indigenous man wearing the traditional pants around Antigua Guatemala.

I wonder why the Guatemalan indigenous men clothing is disappearing; can anyone provide some answers?

© 2008 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • This is a really nice photo. I love the pants and the sash and the hat and that you caught him in motion. Add that to the interesting street and you get a great picture.

  • MO

    Great picture. Men in motion. Everyone looks so determined to get to their destinations (wherever that may be). I love how the only woman in the picture (there might be other women in the frame but hard to distinguish) is well framed by men. Very nice shot Rudy. I know how you like to frame subjects. Was that your intention? or was it just one of those “chiripaso” snap shots? Hey, by the way the pants are really cool. One day you might see men & woman wearing them in your local town (fashion statement).

  • Cind

    One thought, the more communications reach Guatemala and all other parts of the world, the more the people see what they are doing is wrong and what others do is better and right. Sad, but true. When I first went to Guatemala in 1974, I was “a smart college grad”. I could not believe they wore clothes with colors and designs that did not match. Silly me. They wore clothing to keep warm and use what they had. The designs were so simple but so effective. Bright colors, strips and checks all in one shirt or pants or wrap. Now years later and much wiser, clothes are still just for covering. Who cares what color and design they are. But to be more Western the men are not macho enough in the wrapped covering. Pants are it and store bought is best.
    I do so enjoy your work. thanks for sharing.

  • The world over is becoming swallowed up by the same styles and indigenous imagery is losing out. It is sad to see, but this is a heartwarming image that couls only be from your area. It’s also an excellent portrait.

  • Ale

    I think it’s becuase western clothing is “cool”. It’s a real shame that indginous clothing is being phased out becuasae in reality it’s their clothing that is cool.

  • Johnny

    Most of your commenters seem to imply that it has something to do with advertising, movies, and other “western” influences. I don’t think this is correct. Most fashion advertising is directed at women, and I think overall, women buy more clothing than men. There are certainly more women’s clothing stores than men’s clothing stores. Nevertheless in Guatemala, the use of traditional clothing by indigenous women is just as popular as ever. So the question is, if the women are able to resist the siren call of globalization, why aren’t the men?

    I don’t have an answer. I just know that it’s not as simple as people think.

  • @Johnny, I agree with you 100%. I would like to know the answers too.

  • This seems to be the case among many male-dominated groups. For example, here I often see Mennonite families out and about, and the women and children are dressed traditionally, whereas the men are dressed like any other man on the street. In a way, it seems the women are kept in traditional clothing as a sort of oppression, as a way to show they keep to the home and don’t get out and get involved in worldly fashion, while the men have the freedom to do just that. On the other hand, it can be a statement of pride and cultural continuity by the women to hold onto their traditional clothing and eschew that of the world. I think we can find this to be true for women who wear head coverings and burkhas, too.
    Thanks for capturing this image, Rudy. I don’t recall ever having seen a man in traditional clothing while I was in Guate.

  • The question,
    “I wonder why the Guatemalan indigenous men clothing is disappearing?”

    The answer is simple, the people of Guatemala are the same as any other culture, whether the USA, Europe or Africa. The world comes to visit Guatemala and the locals see the new clothing and cultures and they change. All cultures change that is 100 percent sure going to happen, what is 100 for sure will not happen is for them to stay the same.
    Andy Travel Blog

  • norm kwallek

    I noticed that the men were giving up the traditional ware in other places years ago . My guess its the fact that the men were getting into town more than the ladies. I ran into a street market on a country road north of Coban years ago right after the road had been paved. The ladies were not happy that we wanted through in our car, their men folk told them to get over it and get out of the way. The men had been to town more and saw the tourists as no big deal but to the ladies on market day, we were way out of line wanting to pass through in our car.

  • erick

    AS guatemalan man I feel the new job enviroments make difficult to wear this kind of cloths.
    Typical clothes are not original from my people… at the colonia time, spaniards obligued them to use “special” clothes for their slaves…because we have more than 20 etnias and they were not able to recorgnize wich was wich…
    So now we see beatiful colors and tradition but it is only a control method. As the prisioners in a jail…

  • where are most of these style pants made in Guatemala

    • @Darin, most of the man pants are made around Sololá, but there are other communities that still weave them as well.

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