Sunday, April 12, 2009


Here is a collection of pictures of the traditional rugs that are always made in Holy Week or other religious procession. We will never forget the kilometers of rugs made of the visits to Guatemala of SS John Paul II.

Rugs are traditionally elaborated with colored sawdust, flowers, pine (a particular kind)  or a mix of them but this year I saw a new technique.  Walking along the streets admiring the rugs is a tradition and a festivity of its own. While the people make the rugs, religious music is often played, vendors set shop in the corner, ambulant vendors walk up and down announcing their goods and car go crazy trying to find a street that is not closed!


 A NEW TECHNIQUE! A canvas on the street painted with lime. Then pictures are painted with craft paint. I found this one very interesting. It will last longer and we could say is more ecological!
At the market you can buy in small quantities or in  by bulk sawdust. There are two ways to make them with molds or by hand. The geometrical figures or border like figures are made with molds. The designs of  pictures of Jesus, Mary, Angels, etc are usually first drawn on the street with chalk and then filled in by hand.

We got to this spot at 9.30 and the procession was to arrive at 10.30.
In this first picture they are starting to fill in with sawdustwhat will be the face of Mary.

About 40 minutes later they are now doing the mouth. With a lot of care and using even fine brushes they manages to give expression to the eyes, texture to the hair and eyebrows. The young man in charge of the rug is looking at the picture he is taking the inspiration from.

You can see the procession already a block away and he is in the final touches, sculpting the nose and adding tears (also with saw dust).
The creator posing with the finished rug while all the spectator were applauding and the procession was only half a block away.

The cortege walks on the sides of the rugs

The float carrying Jesus passes, followed by the band.
The has rug served its purpose to which it was made with such devotion.
And finally a video...

Which style did you like the best, saw dust, flower and pine or our  painted ones?


Kimberly said...

How wonderful! I was in Antigua this time last year and had such a great time! Luckily, Aeson was still tiny and easy to carry on me...this helped a lot with all of the crowds! I miss the smells and the colors!

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing this, I founf it simply amazing!!!!