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Maya weaving displayed at NMSU libraries

A new exhibit entitled "Mayas of Mexico and Guatemala: Weaving, Resistance and Identity" is now on display at New Mexico State University's New Library and Branson Hall Library. The library displays were created to coincide with two exhibits on the Maya currently on display at the University Museum.


In addition to materials from the NMSU Library collections, the exhibit incorporates books, weavings and original drawings from the campus community and the public. Alexandra Nason Hall, a community supporter of Latin American Studies at NMSU, loaned Guatemalan weavings and books from her private collection. NMSU sociology and anthropology assistant professor Christine Eber contributed weavings from the Tsobol Antzetik women's cooperative in San Pedro Chenalho, Chiapas, Mexico. Selina Farmer, a Native American artist and participant in NMSU's "Bridges" program, loaned the original drawings from the "Words of Hope/Symbols of Tradition" mural, now on display at the University Museum.

The materials on display illustrate the living traditions of the Maya people, their spiritual and historical connections with the ancient Maya, and their modern struggles for political, economic and cultural survival. In particular, the exhibit focuses on one of the Maya people's most successful cultural survival strategies -- the revitalization of backstrap weaving. While working on backstrap looms, weavers act much like Maya scribes of the past, encoding their people's history and beliefs about the cosmos into their designs.

The library exhibits can be viewed in the lobbies of the libraries during regular operating hours. For more information, contact the library's Latin American specialist, Molly Molloy, at (505) 646-6931.