What Clothing Is Traditional in Guatemala?

The traditional clothing worn in Guatemala is based on the native clothing worn by their Mayan ancestors called traje. The garments vary in style, color and embellishment based on location and language group, but bold shades of red, blue, yellow and pink are found in all Guatemalan clothing.

In the town of Nebaj, located in the Altos Cuchumatanes Mountains of Guatemala, women wear red skirts with yellow stripes called cortes to honor their ancestors. The skirt is held up by a woven belt or sash called a faja. A traditional embroidered, square-cut blouse called a huipil is worn with the skirt, and a shawl is draped over one shoulder of the outfit. In some cases, the shawl is used to hold an infant. The outfit is completed by an intricate headdress.

Men in Nebaj wear an open jacket called a chaqueta and a straw hat. The jacket is traditionally paired with a Western-style sweater and trousers. Men often wear Western-style clothing instead of traditional handmade clothing because modern garments are cheaper and more practical. In order to continue the practice of wearing traditional clothing, men typically seek women that are skilled weavers to become their wives. Children also wear a traje when they attend school.