For the past 3500 years, the world has admired the magnificent cloth Mayan women create on the humble back strap loom. Huipiles represent the pinnacle of technical complexity and symbolic density of back-strap loom weaving. Walter Morris’ studies of Highland Chiapas huipiles argue for the continuity of ancient symbols. Indeed, he says, there are hidden worlds portrayed in modern huipiles: when a woman dons her hiopil, she positions herself in the center of the universe (i.e., the diamond pattern around the neckline, which symbolizes the universe).
“Wearing a huipil,” says Irma Otzoy, a Mayan anthropologist, “we are saying to ourselves and other, I am Maya, and we will continue being Maya.
The Laura Luna Story
We at Laura Lee Designs, Inc. wanted to create a home accent accessory line to work with and expand our existing line of lighting. As a result Laura Luna was launched with beautiful pillows, bags, and accessories created from beautiful and culturally rich textiles.
When establishing Laura Luna and working with the Mayan women, we saw first hand the meticulous attention paid in making these beautiful textiles. Whether hand woven, hand embroidered, woven on a back strap loom or woven by treadle loom, every textile is part of a 2000 year old tradition. Laura Luna wanted to give back in other ways, so we have partnered with Miracles in Action, a 501C-3 charity providing Guatemalans living in difficult conditions with opportunities to help themselves through sustainable development projects. A portion of each sale will go to Miracles in Action, and all donations go 100% to the charity.
Philosophy — What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others