Typical tzute of the village of Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Tzute refers to a square or rectangular cloth that is usually back-strap woven in the specific village style. A tzute may be used to carry a baby, to cover a basket, to carry items bought in the market, or it may be used for ceremonial purposes. Usually, large carrying cloths are called cargadores - used to carry bundles of goods on the head or babies on the back. A tzute diario, or daily use carrying cloth for small purchases and personal possessions is similiar to a purse, an indispensable utilitarian article for the majority of Mayan women. Tzutes, when not being used for carrying, can be worn over the shoulder or folded on the head depending on village tradition.
This is a traditional tzute of Chichicastenango with the red background and the animals and birds woven into the cloth. This piece may be 25 years or older and there is a spot where it was torn and repaired (visible in the second picture under the wing of the pink bird). There are a few loose threads in the randa - the joining of the 2 pieces of cloth but otherwise there is no staining and it is a great example of the traditional tzute to Chichi. Measures 40" x 47"