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August 2004
We took a 2 1/2 hour trip through the mountains to Chichicastenango, the biggest Central Market in Central America.  Chichi has market days on Thursdays and Sundays, and is known as the best place to buy Guatemalan textiles and handicrafts.   Chichi Cathedral
Orange and red fabrics The Chichi Market was everything we had hoped; the textiles were plentiful and of very high quality.  It was crowded on the Sunday we went, and almost impossible to take good photos because of the press of mostly indigenous people.
Betsey:  Here is a photo of the stall where women buy the threads they use for weaving.  For those who crave the colors of Guatemalan textiles, this market is like a drug. I can feel the neurons behind my eyes popping and crackling with pleasure. I have fantasies about learning to weave. Thread for weaving
Bags and shirts Here is a rare moment when there are no people in this part of the market
Chickens in a basket.  Mostly, chickens were carried under the arm, or by the feet. These chickens are carried on this woman's head.  She has a roll of cloth coiled on her head under the basket to make a place for the basket to rest. She generally would not have to hold on to the basket to balance it, but the market is crowded. Chicken in a basket
Guatemalan baby clothes Betsey:  Here, fill your eyes with these colors. I can't get enough of them.  I go back to the local markets again and again, and fall in love with  a new pattern or fabric every day. I can barely walk past a textile shop without stopping and looking, even if I was just there a few hours ago.
These are all hand carved, hand painted wooden masks. They didn't appeal to us, as we wanted mostly textiles, but they were beautiful. Wooden masks
Our favorite quilt We coveted this quilt, made almost entirely of huipil squares.  Huipils  (traditional blouses) are made of a particular kind of weaving, using stylized patterns that are unique to each individual village.
We would go back to Chichi any day, any time, if it weren't for the 2 1/2 hour trip, each way, through the mountains. Chichi market


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Last modified: April 27, 2010