One of the many interesting things one can stumble upon in Guatemala are the weaving traditions of the indigenous Maya people. The textiles created through the weaving process can be seen everywhere: on the huipils, which are the traditional blouses the indigenous women wear, being sold at market stands on the streets and as decoration in homes, stores and restaurants. These textiles are either made on a traditional treadle loom which is powered by a foot pedal or the mobile Maya backstrap, which uses a simpler technology. Often times as you walk through the city streets of the lovely Antigua (a small town in Guatemala which is known for its surrounding volcanoes and tourist attractions) you can see Mayan women working on their weaving in front of shops or even in the middle of the park. Antigua is a favorite travel location of Guatemala and where Jess spent much of her time. As Stela 9 bags are known for their patterns, colors and textures it is easy to see where some of this inspiration comes from in Guatemala. Homes are painted in vibrant shades and covered in vegetation. Women walk through the streets covered in intricately weaved huipils. From the surrounding nature, to the beautiful jade stones, hand crafted leather and textiles, to the simplicity of the colorful decorations in a family's home, there are endless things to be inspired by.
|Market selling huipils, souvenirs and textiles|
|The streets of Antigua|
|The Mayan ruins of Tikal|
|The doors of a hostel in San Marcos, Lake Atitlan|
|Lace head scarves|
|Little girl in the park in Antigua|
|patterns and textiles|
|Little girls playing|
|Women at work|
|A lovely display of bags and textiles|
|Man biking in Antigua|
Clearly, it is hard not to be inspired. In recent years we even returned to Antigua, Guatemala to do an on location shoot for our Spring/Summer 2012 Lookbook.
The architecture, the people, the nature, the textiles, the patterns, the weather and much more of Guatemala have all been a little piece of the puzzle that created Stela 9.