A Woven History of Guatemala

The Embassy of Guatemala hosts an exhibition on traditional Guatemalan clothing

August 06th, 2019
Simon Thibaud, News from Berlin
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On August 1st, 2019, the Embassy of Guatemala in Berlin hosted the exhibition “Guatemala, historia entre sus tejidos.”

The exhibition presented predominantly huipiles, a traditional rectangular garment worn by indigenous women in Guatemala. As patterns on huipiles usually indicate the ethnicity and community of the wearer, the huipiles in the exhibition displayed a wide variety of colors and motives representing different Guatemalan ethnicities.

H. E. Amb. José Francisco Calí Tzay inaugurated the exhibition by reminding the audience that 2019 was the International Year of Indigenous Languages, a United Nations initiative to raise awareness about the endangerment of indigenous languages and cultures across the world. Subsequently, Jennifer Ebert, a Guatemalan archeologist and assistant at the Embassy, gave a brief introduction of the history of huipiles and their relevance for Guatemalan culture.

In total, 22 different huipiles were displayed, as well as regional shirts and traditional necklaces. The exhibition was assembled partly from the private collection of the Ebert family and partly from the Embassy’s collection. Nearly 80 guests were fortunate to attend the event and savor Guatemalan coffee, among which diplomats of the Federal Republic of Germany, members of government, media and Guatemalan citizens.

Altogether, the event embodies a renewed effort to preserve the all too precious indigenous Mayan cultures of Guatemala. Through this exhibition, the Embassy of Guatemala weaves the history of Guatemala; huipiles perpetuate Guatemalan heritage, in Guatemala and globally.


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