15.5.14

Guatemala's men of style

Man from Solola. Photo courtesy  Thomas W

When I write about traditional costumes it is usually women whose amazing clothes and jewelry I describe. Because in ethnic as well as in modern world men's costumes are usually less interesting and less impressive than those of women. Men traditionally prefer something more modest, more simple and more sophisticated. But in Guatemala there are still many villages that are worth visiting just to see the men who live there. Because their costumes would surely impress anyone with their brightness and uniqueness. Besides, the men wear them not for tourist entertainment or only on festivals or special occasions but in everyday life. These men are Mayan by origin and wearing traditional clothes is their way to demonstrate their pride in being Mayan.

Guatemala man in traditional embroidered pants

Man from Atitlan in Guatemala wearing traditional pantsMan from San Pedro Atitlan. Photo source

Man from Santiago Atitlan wearing traditional embroidered pants

Man from Santiago Atitlan. Photo courtesy Iñaki Martínez de Marigorta Diaz

Look at these amazing trousers of the men from the Lake Atitlan region. They are made up of four bands woven on looms by women and are embroidered with numerous brightly coloured motifs - birds, animals or geometrical which identify the place of origin of the wearer. 

Men from Santa Catarina Atitlan of Guatemala in traditional embroidered pants
Men from Santa Catarina Atitlan. Photo source

And here is another style: wearing knee-length woolen wrap or rodillera over trousers. Traditionally, the wearer's origin or village can be identified by the style and pattern of weaving, by the particular colour combination and by the method of fastening the rodillera: some wear it rolled over a pair of short trousers, some -over long pants and others - folded over the belt to form a double apron. The purpose of this wrap is to protect the men while they work in the fields and/or keep them warm in areas where the temperatures drop dramatically very early in the mornings or late at night.

Men from Solola of Guatemala wearing traditional embroidered pants
Men from Solola. Photo source

Men from Solola are famous for the brightness of their costumes. They wear colourful trousers embroidered with flowers with a black woolen skirt over the top and no less colourful shirt which is a mixture of woven stripes and patterns which is additionally decorated with a bat-like motif in white cotton.

Man from Solola. Photo source

Men from Todos Santos. Photo source

Gentlemen of the Todos Santos region prefer trousers that are made of bright (usually red) fabric with huge range of stripes. Over the trousers they wear a second pair of pants made from black wool and known as sobrepantalones. These are split up the front of the leg and fastened with large white buttons. Shirts are made from a mass-produced striped cotton but the wives decorate them with handmade collars and cuffs that usually match their own skirts.

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8 comments:

  1. These men look wonderful! Isn't it great to see such bright colours and prints, and mixed together too. I'm very impressed, makes you realise how dull most male clothing can be elsewhere in the world. xxx

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  2. Wow, I really like the embroidered shorts they wear. And also the cross-body bags are so pretty. Thank you, Olga, very educational as usual.

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  3. Wonderful! You cam see some of them around here during street fairs etc, they usually play beautiful local music too. I will have to share this post with Justin - he often feels deprived of interesting modern men's clothing. Спасибо, Оленька!

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  4. What fabulously dressed men! I love to see a man unafraid of colour. I need to move to Guatemala! xxx

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  5. Mens fashion here often is uniform and not fanciful. It is good to see that in other parts of the world men are dressed in colors and patterns. I like particularly the shirts with the eagle-embroideres on the back, they are gorgeous. I also love the bright colors and that they do not fear to mix up with patterns.
    Have a fine weekend my dear!
    Sabine xxx

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  6. Wow, amazing! So beautiful. See that men CAN wear colors and patterns?!;-)

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  7. Great colours and wonderful images just like a red pashmina shawl.

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  8. Great colours and wonderful images just like a red pashmina shawl.

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