Handowen textiles are truly the cultural wealth of the Guatemalan highlands, and the examples featured in this book express the cultural heritage of generations of Mayan people. The vivid motifs and colors of everyday dress, household fabrics, and ceremonial textiles are interwoven with culture and history to form a panorama of the Mayan people and the world they inhabit.
The pieces shown in this book were collected by Mary Anne Wise for a trunk show in Denver, Colorado, in 2009 to benefit Friendship Bridge, a microlending organization serving Guatemalan women. The textiles have been expertly described by noted researcher and collector Raymond Senuk, adding perspective and value to the work. Deborah Chandler’s vignettes about the weavers, their simple looms, and their lives, illuminate the human experience behind the weaving.
Deborah Chander of Guatemala City is Executive Director of Mayan Hands, an organization that supports and markets Mayan weaving. She teachs weaving internationally and is the author of bestselling book. Learning to Weave.
Raymond E. Senuk has been a collector and student of Guatemalan Mayan weaving for more than thirty years. He has curated museum and gallery exhibits, and has written for journals and books. He lives in Antigua, Guatemala, and St. Louis Missouri.
Friendship Bridge is a quiet but powerful force in the economic development of Guatemala. It provides microloans to over 18,000 Guatemalans many of them weavers. All profits from this book benefit Friendship Bridge’s efforts in Guatemala.