The Huipil may be the piece of women clothing best known in México prior to Spaniard influence. Today, Huipils remain the most widespread women clothing piece among indigenous Mexican people. It is used as part of everyday clothing, as part of festivities and important dates and even as part of mortuary clothing.
Huipil is a nahuatl word meaning blouse; they come in a great variety of lengths, widths and pattern designs. Each of them tells a history. The embroided patters in this Mexican dress gives information regarding marital status, rank in the community, personal believes.
Of all the garments of pre-Hispanic origin worn by women, the HUIPIL is the one whose use is most widespread today. It consist of a square or rectangular piece of cloth folded in half, with an opening in the center for the neck and one on each side for the arms.
A HUIPIL´s length and width depends on each community´s tastes and needs: traditional huipiles can be made with only one and up to five webs; they can be short and narrow, like a sleeveless blouse that ends above the navel, or as long and wide as a floor length tunic.
Using webs uncut, as they come off the loom, lends the body a geometric shape. However the HUIPIL is one of the few traditional garments that includes a shape that is not a square or rectangle: it is common for the neckline to be a circle or half circle, and even simulated V-neck exists, achieved by means of a slit in the HUIPIL´s front panel
Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Taller Flora. Carla Fernández.
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