Humble Hilo incorporates intricate and culturally rich Guatemalan textiles into our products, while also creating job opportunities for impoverished Maya families. While traditional native dress has disappeared in many parts of the world, Guatemala remains a place where many of the indigenous people still proudly wear their traditional dress called “traje”. This colorful, hand-woven dress is an art form passed on from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Each Maya village has their own specific pattern and style of traje, and often use different weaving techniques. The "huipil" is a traditional, square-cut blouse that is hand-woven and heavily decorated with embroidered designs. "Corte" is the traditional Mayan skirt usually woven on a hand-loom. The huipil and corte are universal elements of every woman's traje. The materials we use in our products are literally pieces of art and deeply entrenched in the Guatemalan culture.
Above is one of the women employed by Humble Hilo-it typically takes her 3-4 months to create a traditional huipil top! She has memorized thousands of patterns, calling this, "mi don" (my gift). Guatemalan women save up for months and years to purchase these huipiles. We use recycled huipiles to make most of the bags we sell. They are truly a unique, one-of-a-kind product.