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Woman's blouse

San Mateo del Mar Ikood woman’s blouse
ca. 1930–1940
Santo Domingo Tehuantepec, Mexico
Cotton, dye
73 x 97 cm
Collected by Donald B. Cordry

This fine handspun and handwoven huipil was already considered an old-fashioned style worn only by older Ikood women when it was collected in 1940. The center panel on the front of the blouse contains brocaded rows of animal, shell, plant, and bird designs, worked in purple thread. The use of purple dye, extracted from a species of sea snail, is ancient in the Americas, dating to long before the arrival of the Spanish. This style of huipil is being revived by a young weaver in San Mateo today. She uses fine, machine-spun Egyptian cotton to achieve the sheer texture of the handspun fabric.

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