Mayan Products: Skilled Artisan Work with Ancient Roots

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All of our products are made by Mayan women aged 30 to 60. The women have their own businesses, and work out of their homes in western Guatemala as they have always done. This is skilled artisan work.

Since ancient times, weaving has held an integral position in Mayan society. To this day their handmade textiles play a profound role in their lives.

Traditionally all of the inhabitants of every village wore a style of clothing unique to that village. While no longer obligatory, you can still tell where a woman is from at a glance. The Mayans take great pride in their "traje" or village dress. It is hard to overstate the significance their native clothing plays in their lives. It is no exaggeration to say that an essential quality of who they are as a people is manifest in their attire.

Though anything but subtle, Mayan clothing that might be garish elsewhere. It blends naturally with the ever-present flowers, the lush tropical foliage and enormous volcanoes of Guatemala. Such a dramatic setting demands radiant apparel. Somehow it just couldn't be otherwise.

The Maya of Guatemala is one of the last native people on earth whose ancient culture has not yet been completely assimilated into the western world. Over the last few decades the world has come to love Mayan crafts. While products and colors have been modified to meet the demands of the non-Mayan consumer the Mayans still largely manufacture them as they have for centuries.

Handmade goods previously sold to a local, Mayan market are now being distributed through out the world. The products and the production techniques utilized in their manufacture are essentially the same as centuries before. Only the market has radically changed.

If the Mayans are gainfully employed doing what they have done for centuries, in their ancestral villages and, most importantly, in their native tongue, then they can go on being "Mayan" for centuries to come.

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