The montage of this exhibition is based on a comparative study of the attire represented on pre-Hispanic vases and figurines with attire in the actual Ixchel Museum collection. Its aim is to identify garments and their usage over time. In the case of masculine attire, most of the pre-Hispanic garments have disappeared, although their influence can still be seen.
Feminine attire, however, still keeps the skirt, the huipil, the su’t, and the head-dress, whose similarity to those in current use is evident.
This room presents a new stage in the history of indigenous dress, resulting from the profound cultural, political, social, and economic changes that occurred in the country after the Conquest and Spanish colonization.
In the heart of the Maya-Hispanic tradition a syncretic process appeared with new and different traits.
The modernization of Maya dress started with the advent of industrial spinning, which grew rapidly around 1880 with the founding of the Cantel factory in Quetzaltenango. By the end of the 19th Century, weavers from many communities began to substitute white hand-spun thread with industrially-spun thread that was produced in the Cantel factory or was imported.
The last room of the Permanent Exhibition explains the continuities and transformations that have occurred in indigenous dress from 1960 to the present. Among the most important changes are the introduction of synthetic fibers, which enlarged the range and brilliance of the colors available, and a greater use of machine-made embroidery.