~From the Yaxa Founders~
"We combine timeless artisanal elements from Guatemala for a contemporary styled belt."
How Its Made
Every Yaxa belt originates from a traditional Maya textile woven by women in a few artisan communities in Guatemala’s central and western highlands. Our textiles are crafted using original weaving methods that remain largely unaltered since the reign of the Maya civilization. Woven from cotton yarns, the women dye the material using local materials - hibiscus flowers (pink), carrots (orange), quile herbs (green), bark from avocado trees (beige) - to achieve the desired colors.
An Ancient Art
Over 1,500 years ago, the ancient Maya civilization began the process of weaving in what is now Guatemala. According to legend, the Maya were taught to weave by the moon goddess and cosmic weaver, Ix Chel. For the Maya, woven textiles were not just practical, they were also symbolic, demonstrating wealth and status.
All Maya women were taught to weave regardless of their rank. In fact, weaving was so integral to women’s lives that each baby girl was blessed in a special weaving ceremony.
Made to Last
Once spun and dyed, the yarns are woven on traditional backstop looms, the same looms often depicted in ancient Maya art. These simple, portable looms are often made by the weavers themselves and are used by fixing one end to a tree or stationary post and looping the other end around their back. This arrangement allows the weaver to achieve the amount of tension required to create a strong and sturdy textile. Yaxa proudly uses these sturdy textiles to make each and every belt in our collection.