The Mayans have always been recognized for their religious rituals, the great architectural monuments, such as pyramids, temples, stone buildings so their economic and political organizations have been adopted later by later civilizations, but there is little knowledge that there is as for the traditions around this culture, mainly about the clothing of the Mayans.
The Mayan civilization is a topic of interest for lovers of general history and those who like to know about the different cultures that exist around the world, even those that belong to the first American civilizations, as is the case of this civilization that inhabited mainly in Mexico and Guatemala since the 20th century BC, so that it is not a problem to know the clothes and accessories that make up these outfits.
In archaeological finds, experts often recognize the remnants of Mayan civilization and culture through clothing consisting of bright and bright colors, as well as the multiple majestic ornaments and accessories with which this population used to complement their outfits and that they have remained present in their traditions throughout the years and their passage through the American territory.
Who were the Mayans?
The Mayans are a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilization that developed from 1300 BC and they register a presumed climax between 250 and 800 AD with the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. Although today they still have small tribes around Central America, it was a civilization established in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and southern Mexico, a country where it has great cultural influence.
It has been a recognized and prominent culture around the world for its contributions related to the fields of written language, mathematics, astronomy, art and architecture, as well as the social, economic and political organization that governed its communities, which have been inspiration for the formation and development of a large number of civilizations that emerged later.
Characteristics of the Mayan clothing
The traditions of the Mayan culture are influenced by their social, political and economic organization, and clothing is no exception. It was originated mainly to be able to carry out the activities that each one practiced in the communities and to define the distinction of the social classes that made up the political order of their communities.
Each activity required a specific clothing in order to offer, mainly to workers in the agricultural sector, an essential activity for the Mayans, the comfort necessary to work and, in turn, fulfill the function of covering the body of the members of the population, especially the intimate parts of both women and men.
The garments that made up the outfit, the accessories and jewelry that were added, were characterized by naming and identifying the social class to which each person belonged. The noble class and the working class did not use the same materials and style of dress. There were also differences between genders, women and men wore different styles, except for footwear.
It must be taken into account that weaving was one of the most precious art forms in the Mayan culture, which is why women who carried out this activity were important in society. The power to weave and manufacture clothing was considered as a gift given by the goddess of the moon and love of the Mayan culture, Ixchel, therefore, women wove sacred symbols into their garments as a tribute and tokens of gratitude towards the goddess .
The Mayans used bright colors that represented nature and plants to color the garments, the favorites were yellow and blue. According to the cosmogony in the Mayan culture, yellow is the representative color of snakes that are linked to the underworld of the nine hells and the dead, as well as the color of corn and blue was used as a tribute to the gods for representing the 13 heavens, rivers, seas and lakes.
How did the Mayans use to dress?
Women used to wear long skirts or huipil with bright colors that designated the social class of the woman. Commonly they contained a cloak on the torso and wide shirts that were made with brightly colored cotton fabrics to which they could embroider flowers or add other ornaments and on top they used equally colorful scarves to cover their shoulders. The social class influenced the work of the headdress of the woman’s hair.
The working-class men wore loincloths called patí and the bare chest to move easily and perform the work of the field with skill, added decorations designated according to the social class to which they belonged and the level of skills they possessed in the tasks they performed While this garment only covered a part of the body, the rest of it had to be painted black until the man married.
In the Mayan culture, the nobles wore garments embroidered with stones and feathers, completing their outfits with large eye-catching belts and accessories made with gold or gemstones. In addition to headdresses to be placed on the upper part of the head made with feathers, scarves, tiaras, crowns, hats or conical caps. The point in common with the noble class was the striking colors.
His footwear, for both men and women, consisted of a sandal made with deerskin and adorned with parts of bones and other skins, this depended on the social class to which the person belonged. The difference between footwear is that women’s sandals used to be thinner and more delicate than men’s, which were made of thick pieces. For the upper class, sandals were made of leather.
For ceremonial events and special dates such as harvests, lunar cycles, and ancestral episodes, the Mayans were required to wear striking clothing with decorations, feathers, and lace. Also, symbolic accessories that signify prosperity, in order to get better harvests. The people who led and performed the rituals and performed the dances, had to wear light ornate garments and a tail of feathers.