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Indigenous Ceremonial Dress of Guatemala

On view January 9 - March 29, 2013

OAS | AMA F Street Gallery
1889 F St., NW (Corner of 18th Street)
Washington, DC 20006

Hours MON-FRI 9 AM-5 PM

AMA | Art Museum of the Americas of the OAS announces the opening of Rabín Ajaw: Indigenous Ceremonial Dress of Guatemala at its F Street Gallery, an exhibition of photography by Guatemalan photographer Juan Carlos Lemus Dahinten. This exhibit is part the AMA's celebration of Guatemala as the host country of the OAS 2013 General Assembly and is produced in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the OAS.

The works presented in the exhibit examine the aesthetics of indigenous, Guatemalan dress as a manifestation of cultural identity, and how modern styles influenced by global fashion and culture coexist with indigenous traditions.

This distinct combination of colors, designs, and materials is worn today mainly by women and the elderly, in rural villages where these traditions remain prominent. Ritual or ceremonial dress is worn by members of indigenous town councils, and often includes garments differentiating the wearers from the rest of the community. The attire is usually more elaborately decorated, representing authority and spiritual leadership.

The Rabín Ajaw ceremonial dress competition has taken place in Guatemala for more than 40 years. Photographer Juan Carlos Lemus Dahinten captured images while attending the event in July 2011. Participants imitated ceremonial and festive dress, with additional non-everyday ornamentations such as indigenous necklaces.


Juan Carlos Lemus Dahinten