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 Your Source for Hand-woven Ethnic Doll Cloth that fit American Girl�    
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Shawls (Rebozos & Perraje)  ---   for girls & adults

Shawls are called rebozos or perraje (depending on the village, how they are made and who wears them). Many are made on foot-looms and some are made on back-strap looms. Most today are made of cotton or a cotton/acrylic mixture.  Some also have wool or silk in their weave.

Shawls serve many functions in Guatemala.   A girl or woman can use a shawl as an easy tote to carry small loads to and from the market.  Often the bundle is a small sleeping baby that is held close to Mama or an older sister as they run errands, do the many tasks and chores that everyday life in the Mayan culture require, or weave on a back-strap loom.  At other times, when the wind carries a chill, the shawl is easily slipped on and then off again, as the sun comes from behind a cloud or during the midlife change when body temperatures fluctuate. 

The shawl is also a decorative addition to the traditional huipil and corte (skirt) that many Mayan girls and women wear.    In some villages, such as Santiago Atitlan, the decorative function seems to be most important since the shawl is worn most often over the shoulder.   For some villages a shawl is an intrinsic part of their traditional "traje" and must be worn by any well dressed woman from the village during ceremonies and festive occasions.

I am still learning how to distinguish shawls from different areas of Guatemala.  Information on shawls is harder to come by than other types of textiles.  Many shawls seem to come from Totonicapan and Quetzaltenango and neighboring villages in the Western Highlands.  These towns make shawls for their own use plus make shawls in patterns and colors favored by other villages.  Many of the shawls made in these areas feature strong colored stripes with jaspe (ikat) designs of chevrons or muneca figures.   Other villages weave their own shawls and other  villages do not include shawls as part of their traje. Often a woman may wear a shawl from another village if she is cold or happens to like the colors and design.

How can you use a shawl?  You can do the obvious and wear it. Shawls also make nice wall hangings and good table runners (suggest one without pom-poms, or you can remove them).   Some of the shawls that Terra Experience has for sale are shown below.  Click on the pictures to get more information.


Click on Pictures for more detail     arrows3.wmf (2512 bytes)





Santiago Atitlan

San Juan La Laguna














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