Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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tzut (woman's carrying cloth)
  • Kaqchikel (Cakchiquel) peoples
  • tzut (woman's carrying cloth), late 1800s–1942
  • Where object was made: San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Sacatepéquez, Guatemala
  • cotton, weaving, embroidering, dyeing
  • Object Length/Width: 87 x 69 cm
    Object Length/Width: 34 1/4 x 27 3/16 in
  • Gift of the Josephine M. Wood Trust
  • Not on display
  • 2007.6710
Description
Inscriptions/Signature

The square of cotton cloth is woven in two segments. It is dark blue with stripes in one direction in: light purple, green, light green, red, dark blue, and yellow. The stripes are clustered on the edges of each original woven strip (resulting in a very wide stripe when sewn together) and a narrower cluster between. The bands of decorations are embroidered in the opposite direction. There are white triangles with blue diamonds inside, and a dark blue zigzag between on either end. There is a band of composite geometric shapes in purple, light blue, and red, with white detail. Two bands of birds are in profile with their wings behind, in purple, light blue, white, and yellow. There is a yellow wave-like line above and below each band of birds. There are two bands of four-legged animals with very thin bodies but large horns. There are solid colors in light blue, bright pink, and purple. The middle band has deer-like animals in light blue and white or bright pink and yellow. There are rows of geometric designs above and below in purple, white, light blue, and yellow. The row at the bottom of the piece has a figure riding a bicycle. He wears a bright pink shirt, light blue pants, and purple wheels on the bike. There is a four-legged animal at either end of the row in bright pink, purple, and light blue.

This would have been used for a variety of things, including covering one's head (folded and set atop the head rather than tied on), covering a basket, tying a baby to one's back, or wrapped as a cape for warmth.