Na chajiij

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Louisiana State Textile and Costume Museum is showcasing work inspired by Mayan artistry. Traje: Mayan Textile Artistry Creative Design Exhibition will be up from mid-September to mid-May. My mask, titled Na chajijj, which means ‘to protect’ in Tz’utujil will be included in the exhibition.

The Quetzal (wearer’s right) is the national bird of Guatemala. This bird is heavily present in Mayan heritage and is a reincarnation of a Quiche warrior. The hummingbird (wearer’s left) is the namesake of San Pedro, whose Mayan name Tzunun Ya’ means the land of the hummingbirds. The birds were selected in the thought of the national and local influences on the community. In the center is iconography from the Maya calendar. This symbol was included to represent the pandemic’s longevity and the lasting effects on this area, which thrives on tourism. With outreaching threads, the flower symbolizes the spread of the virus through breadth, when not harnessed by a mask.

I am honored to be a part of this exhibition.

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