Guatemala Culture Box Traditional Loom with Indigenous Woman Weaving has long played an important role in indigenous cultures. Especially in the eras before mass-produced textiles, people usually wove their own clothing; the designs woven on the clothing are distinctive to each community. Traditional Woven Huipile Cloth Shawl This is an example of the traditional weaving techniques; there are differences between men and women’s designs as well as those between different communities. Pumice Stone Pumice stone is a mineral deposit, and large quantities are found in Guatemala’s mountain ranges in the center of the country. It is found near volcanoes and Guatemala has four active volcanoes, making it one of the most volcano-dense areas in the world. Loofa Sponge This is another typical Guatemalan export . While some of us recognize this as the object we use in the shower, the loofa is a type of gourd, just like pumpkins. The part of the plant that makes up the loofa sponge is the dried hollow shell of the plant’s fruit. Miniature Ceramic Household Jars There are communities in Guatemala that specialize in the production of pottery. The ceramic pots and jars are used for storage and for cooking corn and beans. Miniature Guatemalan Flag Like all flags, there are specific meanings behind the colors and objects on the Guatemalan flag. The sky blue and white stripes symbolizes the land between two oceans: the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. The scroll in the middle bears the date September 15, 1821 which is the date of independence from Spain. There is also a queztal bird which is the national bird of Guatemala, symbolizing liberty. Quetzal Coin The national currency of Guatemala is the queztal coin. It is named after the national bird of Guatemala, the Resplendent Quetzal. In ancient times, the Mayans used tail feathers from the queztal bird as currency. Straw Hand-Woven Fan This fan is used for fanning fires. This is important because most of the cooking and heating is done by the fire. Although, more and more communities are using gas. The weaving design can be seen in pre-Columbian drawings. Wooden Jaguar Mask In Mayan culture, the Jaguar is feared and respected. In precolonial times, warriors hunted jaguars and wore their hides. Today, the jaguar is often used to decorate many objects, such as masks and clothes. Jaguar masks are worn in parades and festivals by the indigenous peoples who believe the mask creates a link to the spirit world. Pom Incense Pom is the Mayan word for Copal, a golden or white resin (dried sap of the tree) that is used as incense for religious ceremonies and rituals at church and in household altars. The resin can be boiled, shaped into hard pellets, and then is often used as a disinfectant or pesticide in Mayan villages. Map of Modern and Colonial Guatemala The capital of Guatemala moved around several times in the colonial era before finally settling on its current location. The first capital was founded in 1524 near the native Cakchiquel’s capital city Iximche. The capital was moved to its current site in 1776. Today, Guatemala City is the largest city in Guatemala and in Central America. Post Cards Post Cards Post Cards Limestone Guatemala has large deposits of limestone, in the northernmost part of the country. It can be mixed to use in granite, such as in granite countertops, or carved for a decorative lintel. It is also can be dissolved into lime water, which helps soften the dough (masa) used to make tortillas. Perfume The name of this perfume is called “Agua de Florida”, which means water from Florida. It is a popular cologne used in Central and Latin America. Chocolate and cacao Chocolate is native to Central America. It was very important in ancient Maya times as it was used as money, for trading, and also an elite drink. Candelitas Many Guatemalans participate in traditionalist religions, such as Catholicism and Protestantism. Candles are used as a way of giving alms to God; charcoal, sugar, and liquor are also often typically offered. CD- Traditional Music Guatemala’s traditional music has a long history, having been documented as early as 1680. The national instrument is the marimba, from the xylophone family. Wind and percussion bands are also popular, especially during occasions like Lent and Easter week processions. Today, traditional Guatemalan music is incorporating more modern instruments such as the saxophone and the trumpet. Map of Guatemala City This is a colonial layout of Guatemala City. When the conquistadores built their cities, they transplanted the architectural layout from Spain. At the center of the city was the plaza. This was used as the marketplace of the city. Surrounding the plaza was the Church, the equivalent of the court house, and the most powerful families. The less powerful families would live farther away from the plaza. Finally, the peasants would live on the outskirts of the city and the countryside. Jade Jade was a celestial stone of the Mayas. The believed it was a symbol of life and eternal love. The Olmecs, an indigenous tribe that occupied much of Modern day Mexico and Central America, made much of their jewelry from blue jade. Today, Guatemala is home to one of the largest deposits of jade in the world. Woven Basket Woven baskets are handmade items that are used to store or carry items to and from home. Copal (Pom) Copal is produced from tree sap into a type of resin. It has been used in Central America as a type of incense and also as jewelry. It is also known as Pom in Guatemala. Everyday Public Transport In much of Central and South America, the main and most popular system of public transportation is the public bus system. The buses employed are usually old school buses from the U.S.