From the Loom of a Goddess: Reverberations of Guatemalan Mayan Weaving At the heart of Guatemalan Maya culture lies weaving, a practice linked to creation and performed by women on backstrap looms for more than 2,000 continuous years. According to ancient Mayan manuscripts, Ixchel, goddess of the moon, birth, and healing, was the first weaver, and the backstrap loom is portrayed as connecting to her waist at one end and the tree of life at the other. Textiles woven on the backstrap loom continue to be made and worn today as emblems of Maya identity.
Videos were commissioned by the RISD Museum with curatorial assistance from Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sanchez, performance and visual artist and 2017 RISCA Merit Fellow. Research and programming assistance thanks to Maria Paula Garcia Mosquera, MA candidate in public humanities at Brown University.
RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.