The native dress of the Mayans — which is called traje — may vary by village and language group. But the intent of native dressing remains the same: To preserve the rich culture history provided by the Mayans from days of long ago. To Guatemalans, their native costumes are their identity. There are 22 Mayan ethno-linguistic groups, which mean a wide variety of colors, emblems and styles in costumes. But bold colors like reds, blues, yellows and pinks are found on all types of dress [source: Rutahsa Adventures].
For example, in Nebaj, a town located in the Altos Cuchumatanes Mountains, the Mayan language of Ixil is spoken. The women honor their ancestors by wearing a red corte (skirt) with yellow stripes held up by a woven faja (belt or sash). The women also wear a huipil (a traditional square-cut blouse) made with embroidered designs. A shawl drapes over one shoulder, which can be used to carry a baby around. Mayan women put a lot of effort into the colorful weavings and intricate patterns of their huipils.Their outfit is made complete with an intricate headdress [source:Rutahsa Adventures].
A man from the same area may wear a chaqueta or open jacket, a locally made straw hat and Western-style sweater and trousers. The men are more likely than women to adopt some Western-style clothing as it is cheaper and more practical than the traditional hand-made garments. However, women with weaving skills are highly desired by men seeking wives [source: Rutahsa Adventures].
The traditional costume of Guatemalan women is the handwoven traje consisting of a shift-like blouse huipil made of two rectangles sewn together with a hole for the head and two armholes at the sides, a long tube-shaped wrap-around skirt (corte) tied at the waist with a colourful sash (faja) and an apron (delantal). This is combined with a shawl (rebozo). Sandals are worn on the feet. The women decorate their long black hair with ribbons or wear a headscarf (cinta).
Guatemalan men wear American-style cowboy like jeans and shirts, though the national dress is made of handwoven textiles like that of the women. These colourful and highly patterned textiles are made into trousers or shorts. A long sash is worn at the waist like a sort of mini skirt over the trousers. The shirt is also made of handwoven materials and is in the western style though it is heavily embroidered.