A portion of our Mayan Traje: a Tradition in Transition traveling exhibit will be on view from Sept. 24 through Dec. 31, 2021 at the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville, New Jersey. Their Down Jersey FolkLife programs speak to diverse audiences and include exhibitions, demonstrations by artists/tradition bearers, performances, festivals, classes, training for educators, lectures and seminars. Activities at the Center have ranged from Pinelands basketry and Native American drum-making to Japanese origami and Ukrainian pysanky; from African American doll-making to Palestinian embroidery and Guatemalan weaving.

Threads and Themes of “THE STORIES WE WEAR” – Saturday, September 25, 2021 10am PST

Zoom virtual program. Admission is free.

Showcasing 2,500 years of style and adornment through approximately 250 remarkable objects, the new exhibition “The Stories We Wear” at the Penn Museum reveals how clothing and accessories offer powerful expressions of identity—examining the purpose and meaning behind what we wear. In concert with the theme of the exhibition, this program will use the diverse textile and clothing collections at the Museum to explore how what we wear tells a story about ourselves: our class, gender, religion, social roles, and status.

Approaching the collections from an archaeological perspective, Dr. Anne Tiballi, consultant for the exhibition, will dig deep into several of the exhibitions’ “outfits,” making connections between the technological skill, creativity, and cultural significance of the peoples who made and wore them. Among the items she will discuss include a Pre-Columbian Andean warp-patterned tunic, headband, and bag; a Qing Dynasty Chinese court costume; and Early 20th century coconut fiber armor from Kiribati, a Mongolian silk deel and boots, and a Hopi wedding dress.

Click here for details and registration.

September 17-October 15, 2021 – Haverford School in Haverford, PA

Haverford School will host a FOIM-sponsored exhibit featuring pieces ranging from traditional huipiles that display the artistry of the Guatemalan weaving tradition to modern pieces created for daily wear or tourist sale. On display are over 20 huipiles, full outfits, papier mache dolls, fajas, flags, looms, and a wall of pantalones to share with the all boys’ school community. The exhibit also includes a display of prints: most notably Barbara Goetz de Nottebohm’s paintings depicting the daily life of Guatemalan street vendors as well as works by Elma Pratt and Fredrick Crocker Jr.

On September 22, as a part of this exhibit, FOIM board member Yolanda Alcorta will spend a day conducting multiple workshops with different groups of students who will view the textiles as artists, Spanish students, historians, mathematicians, and/or global studies scholars. Students and staff will also enjoy a visit from a weaver. FOIM provided materials for educators to utilize in various disciplines and a bin of hands-on books, textiles, and other items to share with students. Teachers also have an exhibit Scavenger Hunt (in Spanish and English). FOIM was pleased to engage the support of our high school student interns with the Haverford School exhibit.

This event is not open to the general public, but visits can be arranged by appointment only by emailing Chase Davis at

For more information about Haverford School’s global studies programs, click here.

Wheaton Conversations: Weaving Life – Maya Fiber Arts – Thursday, September 16, 2021 6pm EDT

Anthropologist Barbara Knoke presented on the textile tradition in Guatemalan Maya lives, especially as a visual artistic expression of ethnic identity. She discussed the transformation and continuation of weaving traditions and their woven symbols.

Ana-Maria Zaugg introduced the talk within the context of the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Textiles and the US-based Friends of the Ixchel Museum. Ms. Zaugg’s talk can be viewed here.

This event has been archived and is available to view on the WheatonArts YouTube channel (click here to view).

Upcoming Exhibition: Trajé, Maya Textile Artistry – Opening Sunday August 29, 2021
LSU Textile & Costume Museum

This exhibition will feature the Travis Doering Collection of textiles and related artifacts from 40 villages in the Guatemala highlands. Trajé, or traditional dress, has deep cultural significance to the Maya people. The tradition of weaving and use of symbolism has been passed from mothers to daughters for hundreds of years and supports the legacy of craftsmanship that defines the Guatemalan Maya culture. Traditional dress is primarily still worn by women and includes colorful backstrap loom-woven huipiles (blouses), cortes (skirts), cintas (headdresses), rebozzos (shawls), and fajas (belts), examples of which are mounted in the gallery for public viewing.

Additional public lectures will take place in the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters while the Trajé exhibition is open to the public. The museum is open during LSU business hours — Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. — and on the first Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m.

Click here for more information.

Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning: Guatemalan Mayan Weaving

Saturday, August 21, 2021 – 11am EDT

The George Washington University Museum – The Textile Museum

Our own Raymond Senuk is presenting! Join him for an introduction to Guatemalan weaving and culture focused on ceremonial textiles from San Pedro Sacatepéquez. San Pedro has a rich repertoire of textiles that were woven to venerate saints. Senuk will introduce examples from his collection and explore how these textiles reveal their age and use in the daily and ritual life of the community.

Ray has collected historic Mayan textiles for more than 40 years, focusing on textiles made before 1940. He has curated numerous exhibitions and authored articles and books, including Maya Textiles of Highland Guatemala (1982), Embroidery – Stitches That Unite Culture (2010) and the Ceremonial Huipil Map (2013). Senuk has donated over 1,500 pieces from his collections to museums and educational institutions across the United States, including The Textile Museum. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology from Brooklyn College and Yale University.

To listen to the talk, click here.

Maya: The Exhibition – has been extended to November 9, 2020

Even if not textiles, this exhibit makes its US debut at Cincinnati Museum Center – Cincinnati Museum Center – bringing the mysteries of the Maya to the United States for the first time. Maya: The Exhibition immerses guests in a sophisticated civilization buried in the heart of the rainforest. Guests can unearth a world of innovators and gods now at CMC.

Maya: The Exhibition features over 300 original objects that detail daily life, religion, politics and innovations of the Maya. The exhibit design features the civilization’s iconic stepped pyramids and the vibrant colors of Maya artwork. Pristinely preserved clay and stucco figurines and elaborate jade and gold jewelry showcase their artistry. Hieroglyphs carved into massive stone slabs demonstrate their sophisticated writing and passion for history. Large stone carvings and massive stucco sculptures portray the large pantheon of Maya deities. And tools and everyday items reveal the foods, work and play that defined daily life. Interactive elements allow guests to get a more intimate look at certain objects and to even manipulate data from modern archaeological equipment that is allowing for greater discoveries. Click here for more information.

Museo Ixchel Wins 7th Place in the IberMuseos 2020 Education Competition

The Museo Ixchel’s program – Connect with Your Roots – was recently awarded a top prize among the over 200 entries. Click here to read all about it (in Spanish!) in the Prensa Libre.


Mayan Traje: A Tradition in Transition

July 21 – October 13, 2019 – Turner and Gilliland Galleries

Friends of the Ixchel Museum staged this significant textile exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles which was well attended and very well received. We showcased outstanding examples of Guatemalan clothing from the early 20th century to contemporary fashion – exclusively from our own textile collection.

KQED (Public Media for Northern California) published an article on their website about the exhibit. To read the article, click here.

500 Years | Life in Resistance

Produced in 2016, this is the third film in a trilogy about Guatemala. This installment explores the sweeping historical significance of the war crimes trial of General Ríos Montt and the toppling of corrupt president Otto Pérez Molina. Director Pamela Yates gracefully engages the indigenous Mayan population who experienced genocide at the hands of a long-standing repressive government. Silenced family members and eyewitnesses come forward to share their individual stories with the desire that their under reported, horrific treatment receive the attention it deserves.

Spoken in Spanish and native Mayan languages, 500 YEARS delicately weaves archival footage with new interviews and emotional courtroom scenes to shine light on a growing movement to fend off the systematic aggression toward an underrepresented people. Focusing on the recent events of a country that has suffered for generations at the hands of a ruling elite, the film hails the nation’s citizens banding together on a quest for justice—and emerging as a beacon of hope. Click here to see film trailer.

IXCANUL – Mayan Language film

‘Ixcanul’ (which translates roughly to ‘volcano’ in the Mayan dialect of Kaqchikel) is an arresting story about two strong indigenous women. The 2015 film is still being shown. Click on the IXCANUL title above for more information.