San Antonio PolopĆ³


In San Antonio Palopo many women and men make textiles using a variety of methods the most famous of these is the backstrap loom. The other method is by using a device a telar. Telars vary in size and shape depending on what kind of weaving will be done.

The Backstrap Loom has been used for centuries by women of San Antonio Palopo. The materials needed in this method are simple primitive and mobile. Thus allowing women to work in various places. Threading the loom to create the beautiful and famous textiles used by the Maya is a complex and time consuming progress. A typical woman will weave roughly a yard a day depending on how much time she is able to spend weaving.  The women use these looms to create the textiles used for Huipils, Fajas, Camina de Mesas and Cobre Camas (Blouses, Belts,Table Runners and Bed Spreads.)

Weaving, backstrap loom, telar, textiles in san antonio palopo

The Cortes (Skirts) are made from large Telars. Men often make these textiles on these large wooden machines due to the amount of muscle needed for it to work. They often produce textiles a meter or more wide and many meters long. Sometimes 25 to 50 meters can be made in a single run.

The textiles made are often used by the locals and there are also a large number of textiles made for tourist.

There are several cooperatives which are located in San Antonio which sell locally made textiles. They have a large inventory of backstrap and treadle-loomed textiles for sale, including shawls, napkins, placemats, and belts. These cooperatives also are set up for exportation of their works. The cooperatives in San Antonio send to many well known establishments around the world.

Children can oftentimes be seen making bracelets. They use a simple piece of 2X4 wood and some nails as their tool. These children can often create several dozen bracelets in an hour. The families will then sell these for a cheap price to other locals who then sell these to the visiting tourist. 

Mayan girl prepares textiles for selling
girl makes bracelets in san antonio palopo

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