MORRISTOWN, NJ.- The Morris Museum
announces a new exhibition: Line, Color, and Pattern: Textile Designs of Central and South America, on view through February 18, 2013. The exhibition is a survey of the different styles, techniques, and patterns in the traditional dress of Central and South America and features more than 30 textiles that were a gift from Drs. Wolfgang and Maria Jochle. The exhibition features several huipils (a tunic-like garment whose decorative elements can signify history, cultural identity, something personal about the wearer and more; most of the clothing designs generally relate to the natural world), woven belts, and shoulder bags, among other objects from the Morris Museum collection. Showcased as works of art rather than garments, each piece is intricately woven with thread in a rainbow of colors, exploring various patterns and textures. The textiles focus on the rich cultural traditions of Mexico, Peru, and Guatemala.
The conventional garments of Central and South America are known for their colorful and bold patterns. The patterns are as unique as the weavers themselves, and reflect the world in which the weaver lives. The designs are inspired by nature, religious symbolism, animals, and people. However, in regions where the influence of Christianity and other cultures has made a larger impact, this symbolism has often been forgotten or replaced by mestizo, or mixed, designs.
Much of the traditional costumes of Mexico and Guatemala consist of similar elements because they share roots in Mayan culture; however, the differences in garments from each region reflect the styles, preferences, and beliefs of the individual communities within.