Wear it with Pride (Part 3)

Wear it with Pride (Part 3)

Sure, you say, the traje indí­gena is a far out outfit, but are there really symbols encoded in these garments?

Once again, I will let Julia Montoya answer: “An ever present motif is the zig-zag horizontal stripe, which in Kaqchikel is called Kumatz (serpent or snake). There is also the star or flower which has many variations. Sometimes, it is rhombus with central point which repeats itself within a prominent central band, combined, in some occasions, with the vertical zig-zag stripe (which symbolizes the lighting) and with birds motifs. The isolated motifs do not say much, but when they are combined the form a context. Per example: the aquatic birds o migration birds, the stars and the zig-zag lines motifs can suggest contexts of rain and fertility… with red, green and yellow, colors which symbolize fertility and the abundance of maize… Elder women, especially those who are widows, do not use red, but a combination of black, white, lilac, green and blue (colors which are associated with sorrow)… by wearing the huipil (blouse), women placed themselves in the center, like an axis which communicates the heavens, earth and the underworld (Xibalbá in Maya).

Source: Interview to Julia Montoya {ñ}, author of With their hands and their eyes, by Gemma Gil

We will continue with others questions and answers from this fabulous interview in the following days. Stay tune!

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