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A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas
A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas

A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas

Guía Textil de los Altos de Chiapas

By Walter Morris Jr., Photographs By Alfredo Martínez, Photographs By Janet Schwartz, Edited by Carol Karasik


160 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $24.95 (US $24.95) (CA $27.95)

Publication Date: January 2012

ISBN 9780983886006

Rights: WOR X UK & EUR

Thrums Books (Jan 2012)


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A richly illustrated, bilingual book, this guide visits 20 villages in the Chiapas Highlands to showcase their stunning handwoven cloth while also providing an insider’s look into their history, folklore, festivals, traditions, and daily lives. Ritual transvestites, Virgin statues draped with native blouses, tunics designed to look like howler monkey fur, and elaborately floral shawls and ponchos—these are just a few of the unforgettable images captured in the book. Also included are a pull-out map of the Chiapas Highlands and dates of special festivals and local markets.


“Walter ‘Chip’ Morris can be considered, without a doubt, a native. Although he was not born here, he has dedicated a significant portion of his life to learning about and exploring the manifestations of indigenous culture.”  —Juan Sabines Guerrero, constitutional governor, Chiapas

“Chip's contributions are always innovative because, more than most westerners, he understands the indigenous world of the Chiapas Highlands. He has close friends in the communities and participates in Maya fiestas as one of their own.”  —Maria Luisa Armendátiz, president of the board, Asociacióon Cultural Na Bolom

"This newly revised bilingual guide to the region's textiles explores the weaving traditions of twenty Mayan villages and their culture and history. Beautiful photographs adorn most pages, giving the reader a glimpse of everyday life in these secluded communities."  —Handwoven Magazine

Author Biography

Walter Morris, Jr. is fluent in Tzotzil and has spent extensive time in Maya villages, studying the culture and traditional crafts and forging lasting friendships with the locals. He is the founder of Sna Jolobil, a weaving collective based in San Cristóbal, and is an associate of Na Bolom, a research center and museum. He received a MacArthur Fellowship Award in 1983 for his work in Maya textile symbology and is the author of Living Maya. Alfredo Martínez is a documentary photographer specializing in extreme sports, tourism, and travel. He has visited 80 countries and his work has appeared in such publications as Escala de Aeromexico, National Geographic, and National Geographic Traveler. Janet Schwartz was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to travel to Chiapas and study the Bonampak murals. She has been a photographer and journalist since 1994 and has been extensively published by such news organization as AP, AFP, the New York Times, and Knight-Ridder. Carol Karasik is the author and editor of numerous books, including Every Woman Is a World, Living Maya, People of the Bat, and The Turquoise Trail.