Shanti Imports


The Maya have practiced weaving since ancient times. While it is possible that the legend of the goddess Ixchel revealing it to them is a modern interpretation (See:, a mythical origin was likely attributed and the essential element in the story is that a WOMAN created this basic technology. After the Spanish conquest, the people were ordered to create distinct costumes for their respective villages for easy recognition of their origin. Around 100 villages still retain distinct styles. The backstrap loom is a portable loom strapped on one's back with the warp yarns extended in front and fastened to a pole or a tree. Because the loom can not be much wider than a human's body; only panels or "lienzos" of a certain width can be made. A corte is a skirt worn by women; wrapped around the hips and folded down, then fastened with a cloth belt or "faja". It is made from 2 lienzos or a single, wider width woven on a footloom. A "randa" is a figure-8 handstitch used to connect lienzos lengthwise and at their ends, so that the skirt is a single piece in a loop about a yard wide. Randas are beautiful adornments done in many shapes and colors.