Qak'aslem, Qakem: Kaqchikel Maya Weavings overview photo

Qak'aslem, Qakem: Kaqchikel Maya Weavings

  • Duration:Temporary
  • Location:Campbell Gallery

(date) 3/25/2008—6/8/2008

Guatemala is a small Central American nation, a land of mountains, tropical coasts, and lowland jungles. Descendants of the ancient Maya civilization make up a majority of the population, and over twenty Mayan languages are spoken. Among the Maya, many practices of daily life have survived for thousands of years.

This exhibit of three Maya po’t (women’s blouses) features the work of Kaqchikel weavers. All three pieces represent the artistry of women who conserve the ancient practice of weaving by hand on a backstrap loom. Each piece reflects aspects of the distinctive weaving style of a particular town or village located in the central mountainous region of the country, the area where the majority of Kaqchikel speakers live.


  • Magda Silvia Sotz Mux, Guest Artist and Kaqchikel Cultural Consultant
  • Peter Rohloff, MD PhD, Guest Curator and Executive Director, Wuqu' Kawoq S.A.
  • Angelina Cotler, Associate Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Wuqu' Kawoq, a non-governmental organization working in Guatemala to provide medical care in Mayan languages and strengthen indigenous communities and identity throughout Guatemala.
  • Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Illinois Arts Council, a state agency