About Friends of the Ixchel Museum

Friends of the Ixchel Museum (FOIM) is a U.S. charitable foundation established in 1984 that promotes interest in the Mayan textile tradition of Guatemala and the work of the Museo Ixchel. In this way, it contributes to the understanding, preservation and protection of this important cultural legacy.

womanFOIM is made up of Guatemalan and North American volunteers who share an interest in Guatemala and their commitment to increase appreciation of Mayan textile art.

Every year, the Friends sponsor publications and projects both in the U.S. and in Guatemala. Among them are educational programs, ethnographic research and photographic documentation in several communities, as well as the classification and cataloging of the museum’s collections of textiles and photographs. It has also made possible the English translation and publication of several of the museum’s works, the production of videotapes in Spanish and English, and a Spanish language activity book for children.

Its work to publicize and promote Guatemalan textiles includes putting on exhibits in the United States and publishing a biannual newsletter describing both FOIM activities and those of the museum.



Friends of the Ixchel Museum Bulletin

Current Bulletin - June 2016

 Ceremonial huipil, Santa Lucía Utatlán, 1930’s/1940’s


Santa Lucía Utatlán is a relatively small K’iche Maya community perched on the mountains to the north of Lake Atitlán. It is off the beaten track and does not receive many visitors. It can be approached from CA-1 (the Pan-American Highway), which is the easy way, or by a hair-raising switchback road that rises more than 1500 feet from San Pedro La Laguna on the extreme western shore of Lake Atitlán. It is approximately 7000 feet above sea level, so it can be quite chilly at night.

The textile pictured is a ceremonial huipil that dates to the 1930s/40s. It is part of the collection of the Friends of the Ixchel Museum, donated by the estate of Guillermo Sánchez and housed in Philadelphia. This huipil has been exhibited in Santa Fe, Toronto, and Philadelphia. It is in the typical format for this kind of huipil: woven in two panels that are foot-loomed. Examples from this period are brocaded in silk. The neck and sleeves are finished in commercial tulle and when there is embroidery on tulle, it is usually done in silk. (to read full article, download June 2016 bulletin)


In This Issue

  1. Ixchel Museum News
  3. Guatemalan Cofradías
  4. Visit our refreshed website


View/download the current issue to continue reading »

View the bulletin archive »