Woven Legends from Guatemala
Ixchel Museum of the Indigenous Garment
The Legend Woven in the Huipil from Nebaj, Quiche, Guatemala
Legend has it that once upon a time there was a king with a very beautiful daughter, whom he and the queen loved dearly. The beautiful princess fell deeply in love with a young man whose family was not royal and who was very poor. Her father was not at all happy with her choice.
Not knowing what to do, he decided to spy on the young couple. So he placed a flea in the left ear of the princess without her noticing. The flea told the king all that the young lovers did. But, one day, they discovered the flea and killed it.
When the king realized what had happened, he decided to send another spy. This time he chose a louse who, sadly, shared the same fate.
The desperate king looked for a new ally and decided to ask for help from a little bird. But the bird felt the true love the young couple had for each other and, instead of obeying the king, he informed the lovers that the king intended to separate them.
The lovers decided to flee on a donkey which was the only possession of the young man and the princess carried all that she needed wrapped in a beautiful cloth. Since that time the little bird has been the guardian spirit of young couples.
Legend Woven in the Huipil from Tamahú, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
Legend has it that the Sun fell in love with the Moon. The Moon was weaving on her backstrap loom and paid no attention to him, so he decided to disguise himself by wearing the skin of a goat.
But the father of the Moon, the Spirit of the Hills and Mountains, told her to throw water mixed with lime so that the Sun would slip and she would see that it was him and not a goat. The Moon followed the advice of her father and it happened as he had said.
Thus the Sun, desperate, decided to ask for the plumage of a hummingbird so that he could change himself into a little bird. Then as a hummingbird, he flew to perch on a tobacco plant from where he could always watch his beloved Moon.
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