Classic Maya Textiles and the Crafting of Communities

Author(s): Megan Leight; Christina Halperin

Year: 2017


One of the striking features of contemporary Maya textiles is that their production techniques and aesthetics can be highly regionalized. These textiles manifest strong village, town, and community identities while simultaneously reproducing other identity formations (e.g., gender, ethnicity). Likewise, Classic period Maya (ca. 300-900 CE) political formations were highly regionalized with multiple, shifting centers of gravity. Nonetheless, relatively little is known about the variability of Classic period textiles across the Maya Lowlands and whether textiles were caught up in the political fissions and regionalisms identified in hieroglyphic texts. This paper explores several Classic period Maya textile and garment traditions that have been previously overlooked in the literature. We suggest that unlike other crafting communities, those surrounding textiles often defied the boundaries of petty politics.

Cite this Record

Classic Maya Textiles and the Crafting of Communities. Megan Leight, Christina Halperin. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431176)


Identity Maya Textiles

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15556