It’s pretty hard to exist in the world without falling for textiles. Case in point, this Guatemalan cinta. My understanding (based on, per the usual, a cursory google search; keep your own critical thinking hat on!) is that this woven and embroidered piece is worn primarily (exclusively?) by women, wrapped around or woven with braids and then around the head. Within Guatemala, I believe this particular iteration might come from Aguacatan, a municipality whose English Wikipedia page is terribly unsatisfying (what happened in those elections scheduled for 2007?!?), with other cinta designs more typical of other regions.
This cinta is about 6″ wide, perhaps ten feet long, with huge tassels on the points at each end, and really amazingly beautiful. In these photos you can get a sense of the rich colors, geometric patterns, and detail work. One hundred and twenty inches of it. It’s wonderfully intense and not without its own substantial heft. I’m not much of an embroiderer (though trying to remember how to stitch a French knot was how I stumbled across one of the first blogs or blog-like things of my life) but it doesn’t take more than conceptual knowledge of needle and thread to realize the hours of work that must be tied up (ha!) in this textile.
Currently I’ve got it rolled up and sitting on a table. I’m not sure exactly how to showcase it, especially in a way that respects the artists and cultural history behind it. You can read a tiny bit more about similar cintas here and here. I like the information about color shifts and more recent trends within these in the second link–it’s a good reminder that all these little windows into the world that objects provide are really static snapshots of a complex and changing world. Any great ideas for displaying this piece appropriately and in a way that does it justice?