The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 – meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.
This description is from Dirk, the museum’s curator of anthropology. He’s chosen a selection of objects that represent human cultures throughout time and around the world, that we’ll be sharing here – and at 100.hmns.org – throughout the year.
Contemporary Maya weavers produce some very fine, intricately designed clothing. Using a backstrap loom, which goes back to Pre-Columbian days, modern Maya continue make these women’s blouses, called huipiles.
Similar dresses with similar designs can sometimes be seen on Pre-Columbian carved stone monuments, attesting to a deep history while also illustrating that Maya culture is still very much with us.