Cloth Making at Chichen Itza

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3934-5_9868-1
The manufacture of cloth is a tradition with deep roots throughout the Maya area (Fig. 1), which encompasses the Yucatán Peninsula or northern region, and the area south of this, comprising what are today the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize, and parts of Honduras. Because of the humid nature of the climate characterizing much of the Maya area, few textiles survive from the pre-Hispanic time period (i.e., prior to the sixteenth century). The largest collection that does, however, comes from the Sacred Cenote at Chichén Itzá. Over 600 fragments of textiles were found in the early twentieth century dredging operations at the cenote (a natural pit or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath), most of them only a couple of centimeters in size. They exhibit a variety of weaves, although a plain weave is the most common (Lothrop, 1992; Mahler, 1965). The original provenience and dating of the Chichén textiles...

Keywords

Classic Period Archaeological Evidence Maya Region Deity Effigy Burning Incense 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Anawalt, P. R. (2000). Textile research from the Mesoamerican perspective. In P. B. Drooker & L. D. Webster (Eds.), Beyond cloth and cordage: Archaeological textile research in the Americas (pp. 205–228). Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, E. W. V (1970). Balankanche, Throne of the Tiger Priest. New Orleans: Middle American Research Institute.Google Scholar
  3. Ardren, T., Manahan, T. K., Wesp, J. K., & Alonso, A. (2010). Cloth production and economic intensification in the area surrounding Chichen Itza. Latin American Antiquity, 21(3), 274–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brasseur de Bourbourg, C. E. (1869–1870). Manuscrit Troano: Etudes sur le système graphique et la langue des Mayas. Paris: Imprimerie Impériale.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, C. T., & Witschey, W. R. T. (2014). Electronic atlas of ancient Maya sites [cited 14 June 2014]. Available from http://MayaGIS.smv.org, Brown & Witschey 2014.
  6. Chase, A. F., Chase, D. Z., Zorn, E., & Teeter, W. (2008). Textiles and the Maya archaeological record: Gender, power, and status in Classic period Caracol, Belize. Ancient Mesoamerica, 19(1), 127–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Förstemann, E. (1880). Die Maya Handschrift der Königlichen öffentlichen Bibliothek zu Dresden (mit 74 Tafeln in Chromo-Lightdruck). Leipzig: Verlag der A. Naumannschen Lichtdruckeret.Google Scholar
  8. Gates, W. (1978). Yucatan before and after the conquest by Friar Diego de Landa. New York: Dover.Google Scholar
  9. Halperin, C. (2008). Classic Maya textile production: Insights from Motul de San José, Guatemala. Ancient Mesoamerica, 19(1), 111–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hendon, J. (1997). Women’s work, women’s space, and women’s status among the Classic-period Maya elite of the Copan Valley, Honduras. In C. Claassen & R. A. Joyce (Eds.), Women in prehistory: North America and Mesoamerica (pp. 33–46). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hendon, J. (1999). Spinning and weaving in pre-hispanic Mesoamerica: The technology and social relations of textile production. In B. Knoke de Arathoon, N. L. González, & J. M. Willemsen Devlin (Eds.), Mayan clothing and weaving through the ages (pp. 7–16). Guatemala City: Museo Ixchel del Traje Indígena de Guatemala.Google Scholar
  12. Krochock, R. (2002). Women in the hieroglyphic inscriptions of ChichénItzá. In T. Ardren (Ed.), Ancient Maya women (pp. 152–170). Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press.Google Scholar
  13. Looper, M. (2000). Gifts of the moon: Huipil designs of the ancient Maya. San Diego, CA: San Diego Museum of Man.Google Scholar
  14. Lothrop, J. M. (1992). Textiles. In C. C. Coggins (Ed.), Artifacts from the Cenote of Sacrifice, Chichen Itza, Yucatan (pp. 33–90). Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  15. Mahler, J. (1965). Garments and textiles of the Maya lowlands. In Handbook of Middle American Indians (Vol. 3, pp. 581–593). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  16. Morris, W. F. (1987). Living Maya. New York: Harry N. Abrams.Google Scholar
  17. Prechtel, M., & Carlsen, R. S. (1988). Weaving and cosmos amongst the Tzutujil Maya of Guatemala. RES, 15, 122–132.Google Scholar
  18. Reents-Budet, D. (2002). Power material in ancient Mesoamerica: The role of cloth among the Classic Maya. In J. Guernsey & F. K. Reilly III (Eds.), Sacred bundles: Ritual acts of wrapping and binding in Mesoamerica (pp. 105–126). Barnardsville, NC: Boundary End Archaeology Research Center.Google Scholar
  19. Vail, G., & Hernández, C. (2012). Rain and fertility rituals in postclassic Yucatan featuring Chaak and Chak Chel. In G. E. Braswell (Ed.), The ancient Maya of Mexico: Reinterpreting the past of the northern Maya lowlands (pp. 285–305). Sheffield: Equinox Publishing.Google Scholar
  20. Vail, G., & Stone, A. (2002). Representations of women in postclassic and colonial Maya literature and art. In T. Ardren (Ed.), Ancient Maya women (pp. 203–228). Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Social SciencesNew College of FloridaSarasotaUSA