Techniques: The pikbil technique on the backstrap loom
Community: Samac community, Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
Amalia is Q’eqchi’ Maya, the third largest Maya ethnic group in Guatemala. She is president of the Ixbalamke’ weaving group where she represents 30 women weavers. Amalia learned to weave the pikbil technique on the backstrap loom from her mother when she was eight years old. Her grandmother taught her mother, and her mother taught her, just as Amalia is now teaching her own daughters. She has six children, two of who are weavers in the Ixbalamke’ weaving group. Every day Amalia weaves at home. Designs from her community of Samac in Guatemala include the rainbow, hills, mountains, pathways, rivers, and more, such as animals like roosters, ducks, and dolls. Amalia and fellow weavers of Ixbalamke’ weave huipiles (elaborate traditional blouses), as well as shalls, table runners, tables cloths, placemats, napkins, curtains and more.