Woman's huipil (bodice) - ROM2014_14346_15


Woman's huipil (bodice)

Maker: Mixtec culture
Medium:Cotton brocaded with wool and acrylic
Geography: Santa María Yucunicoco, State of Oaxaca, Mexico
Date: 1964
160 x 90 cm
Object number: 986.206.9
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of Mrs. A. Murray Vaughan from the Doris Heyden Collection
Not on view

Weavers in the Mixteca Alta region of Oaxaca specialize in brocading cloth using supplementary weft threads. These designs were made across all three panels with wool and acrylic yarns on a backstrap loom. The neck area is embellished with appliquéd store-bought ribbons.


The pre-Conquest huipil is a sleeveless, rectangular tunic that is still worn in several states, including Oaxaca, Puebla, Guerrero, and Chiapas, and by Maya women on the Yucatán Peninsula. Today, some women buy cloth and personalize it with embroidery and appliqué, while others still weave traditional huipil styles on the backstrap loom. Though construction methods and designs vary according to region and culture, most makers use two or three loom widths. In some communities, the garments are long and hang freely, even reaching the ankles. In other communities, where garments are short, they stop at the waist or are worn tucked inside a skirt.

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