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Endangered Threads Documentaries

Documentaries & Videos

Sheer Elegance - Endangered Threads Documentary

Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving

Sheer Elegance focus on a style of fine translucent textiles with brocaded decorations that have been woven by some Maya weavers of Guatemala and southern Mexico since the Classic Maya Era (250-900 CE). More Info

Narrator: Lina del Roble
Running time: 73 minutes
Spanish translation on screen

Saving the Weavers - an Endangered Threads Documentary

Saving the Weavers: Small Assistance Programs
For Maya Women in Highland Guatemala

Meet ten extraordinary people who have dedicated years of their lives to helping Maya women devastated by the 36-year Guatemalan Civil War, and learn about the assistance programs they set up. More Info

Narrator: Lina del Roble
Running time: 43 minutes

Manuela & Esperanza - Endangered Thread Documentary

Manuela & Esperanza:The Art of Maya Weaving

Enter into the lives of two accomplished Maya weavers as they accept the challenge of weaving traditional blouses or huipiles in less than 90 days, from the purchase of threads to the last stitch. More Info

Narrator: Lina del Roble
Running time: 29 minutes

A Century of Color -Endangered Threads Documentary

A Century of Color:Maya Weaving & Textiles

Surveys 100 years of continuity and change in Maya weaving and textiles of Guatemala with stunning examples of blouses, skirts, belts, hair ribbons, men’s wear, ikat and embroidery. More Info

English Narrator: Cheryl Guerrero
Spanish Narrator: Marta Lucía Beltrán
Running time: 53 minutes

Splendor in the Highlands - Endangered Threads Documentary

Splendor in the Highlands:Maya Weavers of Guatemala

With brilliant colors and intimate views, textile scholar, author and anthropologist Margot Blum Schevill introduces us to 22 Guatemalan weavers and their weaving styles and techniques. More Info

Narrator: Margot Blum Schevill
Running time: 27 minutes

Translucent Weaves in the Classic Maya Era

Christina Halperin PhD:
Translucent Weaves in the Classic Maya Era (259-900 CE)

University of Montreal Anthropology Professor Christina Halperin delivers a lecture on Translucent Textiles in the Classic Maya Era, using examples from Bonampak murals, painted pottery and carved stone. This video was part of the extensive background work for the documentary Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving, © 2018 Endangered Threads Documentaries.

Running time: 26 minutes
View on YouTube

Liz Frey on Learning to Weave Pikb’il

Liz Frey on Learning to Weave Pikb’il

Liz Frey is a Professor of Fine Art at Centralia College in the State of Washington. She is also an accomplished weaver and spinner. She learned to weave a translucent style of back-strap weaving in 2014, while visiting Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. The particular style of Q’eqchi’-Maya weaving she learned is known as Pikb’il. This video was part of the extensive background work for the documentary Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving, © 2018 Endangered Threads Documentaries.

Running Time: 22 minutes
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Chip Morris Interview

Chip Morris Interview

Walter F. Morris, Jr, know as "Chip," is a textile expert and author who has lived in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico since the 1970s. This video interview, which was recorded on March 22, 2011, was part of the extensive research for the documentary Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving, © 2018 Endangered Threads Documentaries.

English with Spanish text
Running time: 24 minutes
View on YouTube

Pedro Meza Interview

Pedro Meza Interview

Chiapas textile expert and weaver Pedro Meza describes backstrap weaving in Chiapas, Mexico, especially that of Tenejapa (where he learned to weave as a child) and the translucent weave of Venustiano Carranza. He was a leader of the Chiapas weaving coop Sna Jojobil for many years. This interview was part of the research for the ETD documentary Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving © 2018 Endangered Threads Documentaries.

Spanish with English text)
Running time: 17 minutes
View on YouTube

Don Chooz: Una Intrevista con Chooz Macz en Sanimtaca (Spanish) Don Chooz: An Interview with Chooz Macz in Sanimtaca (English)

Don Chooz: An Interview with Chooz Macz in Sanimtaca (English)
Don Chooz: Una Intrevista con Chooz Macz en Sanimtaca (Spanish)

This 2016 video is of an interview with Chooz Macz, a Q'eqchi'-Maya leader and activist in the rural community of Sanimtacá in the municipality of Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. It was made as part of the research for the documentary Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving, © 2018 by Endangered Threads Documentaries, an educational nonprofit.

Running time: 14 minutes
View on YouTube in English
View on YouTube in Spanish

Doña Leslie: An Interview with Leslie Hempstead Fairhurst

Doña Leslie: An Interview with Leslie Hempstead Fairhurst

This 2016 video is an interview with the late textile collector Leslie Hempstead Fairhurst in Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, where she lived for many decades. It is part of the research for the documentary Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving, © by the educational nonprofit Endangered Threads Documentaries. The interview took place in 2006, with Cheryl Guerrero acting as interviewer.

Running time: 32 minutes
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Raymond E. Senuk: Observations on Guatemalan Textiles

Raymond E. Senuk: Observations on Guatemalan Textiles

This brief video interview was recorded in Antigua, Guatemala, on Feb. 8, 2010, at the home of Textile Collector Raymond E. Senuk. Pieces from his private collection are included in the video. The video is part of the research for the documentary Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving by the educational nonprofit Endangered Threads Documentaries (© 2016).

Running time: 5 minutes
View on YouTube Raymond Senuk: https://youtu.be/V_BVJC3N0eU

Backstrap Weavers of Alta Verapaz: Se'b'ob'

Backstrap Weavers of Alta Verapaz: Se'b'ob'

This video is part of a series on Q'eqchi'-Maya backstrap weavers of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, produced by the educational nonprofit Endangered Threads Documentaries as background research for the documentary Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving, © 2018. It focuses on weavers living in Se'b'ob', San Juan Chamelco, © 2016.

Running time: 9 minutes
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Backstrap Weavers in Alta Verapaz: María Elena Tun Rax<

Backstrap Weavers in Alta Verapaz: María Elena Tun Rax

This video is part of a series on Q'eqchi'-Maya backstrap weavers of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, produced by the educational nonprofit Endangered Threads Documentaries as background research for the documentary Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving, © 2018. It focuses on the weaver María Elena Tun Rax living just outside the town of San Juan Chamelco, © 2016.

Running time: 17 minutes
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Backstrap Weavers of Alta Verapaz: María Candelária Putul Caal

Backstrap Weavers of Alta Verapaz: María Candelária Putul Caal

This video is part of a series on Q'eqchi'-Maya backstrap weavers of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, produced by the educational nonprofit Endangered Threads Documentaries as background research for the documentary Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving, © 2018. It focuses on the weaver María Candelária Putul Caal living just outside the town of San Juan Chamelco, © 2016.

Running time: 9 minutes
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Backstrap Weavers of Alta Verapaz: Campat Aldea

Backstrap Weavers of Alta Verapaz: Campat Aldea

This video is part of a series on Q'eqchi'- Maya backstrap weavers of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, produced by the educational nonprofit Endangered Threads Documentaries as background research for the documentary Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving, © 2018. It focuses on weavers of Campat, in the department of San Juan Chamelco. © 2016.

Running time: 12 minutes
View on YouTube

Modern Maya Weavers of Guatemala

Modern Maya Weavers of Guatemala

More than a dozen master weavers are shown weaving on their back-strap looms in their homes around highland Guatemala. The hands of the weavers expertly craft the unique styles of San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Patzún, San Antonio Palopó, Santa Catarina Palopó, Santiago Atitlán, San Lucas Tolimán, Chichicastenango, Nebaj, San Juan Cotzal, Todos Santos Cuchumatanes, Tactíc, and Samac near Cobán. The video was originally produced for a textile exhibition at the San Jose Museum. (© 2011)

Running time: 9 minutes
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Languages of the Maya

Languages of the Maya

This video introduces the viewer to four of the more than 20 Maya languages in Guatemala. Mario Chocooj is a Q'eqchi'-speaking Maya from Cobán; Felipe Rivera Caba is an Ixil-speaking Maya from Chajul; María Concepción Cuc is a Kaqchikel-speaking Maya from Solola; and and Ajpub' Pablo García is a Tz'utujil-speaking Maya from San Pablo La Laguna. Spanish and English translations follow. The video was originally created for a textile exhibition at the University of California's Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and has been subsequently displayed at several other exhibitions in the U.S. (© 2008).

Running time: 6 minutes
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Pikb'il Weavers in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

Pikb'il Weavers in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

Scenes of Q'eqchi' Maya weavers in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, weaving as ancient translucent style on a back-strap loom. The video was originally created for an exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and has subsequently been used at other exhibitions in the US. (©2009).

Running time: 2 minutes
View on YouTube