Exploring the embroidery tradition in Yucatan

To read the post in English please go to the bottom of the page.

Exploring the embroidery tradition in Yucatan 

A few days ago I was traveling through Yucatan along with collector Sheri Brautigam, visiting the small towns included in MUREM’s embroidery tour, and it was a real learning experience, seeing the tour through the eyes of a visiting adventurer.


Highlights of the visit included acquiring a huipil embroidered by the father of a family, who learned to embroider from his wife, and watching their daughter embroider her first huipil which featured a neckline of princesses. The director of the Maya museum in Felipe Carrillo Puerto shared the contents of his folder of traditional embroidery patterns -each sewn on a needlepoint canvas and clipped to a stiff sheet of paper, with the name of the stitch and the embroiderer included. Some of the stitches, like mool míis and xmanikben, quite possibly predate the Spanish occupation of Mexico.

There were also a couple unplanned stops in towns not included on the embroidery tour, like Tixhualactun, Yucatan, where purses for women and bags for men are still woven on a backstrap loom with henequén fibers. In X-Hazil, Don Jose, who has been embroidering since the early 1950s, promised to show us his excellent work. We walked in during the time of family prayers and we were invited to join the family and share the subsequent coffee and sopapillas, which we did with pleasure.

This trip was truly a nice experience, and a taste of what's to come in our Embroidery Tour in the spring, which MUREM organizes along with anthropologists Silvia Terán y Christian Rasmussen. If you're interested in joining us, check out the details in the Embroidery Tour website.

All the activities related to this tour are in english.

You can also check out MUREM’s Facebook page for more photos of the trip.

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