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Intellect

New BYU exhibit, "Entwined," looks at ancient Mayan textiles

The ancient art of weaving is unraveled at Brigham Young University’s Museum of Peoples and Cultures with its newest exhibit, “Entwined: A Vibrant Heritage of the Modern Maya.”

“Entwined”demonstrates how past traditions are still a part of the modern Mayan world. The exhibition aims to showcase modern Mayan textiles as an art, according to Anna McKean, promotions director for the museum. The items found throughout the exhibition emphasize the creative process involved in textile creation, including technology, she said.

“Ultimately, ‘Entwined’will help visitors to gain an awareness of cultural connections within the Mayan community as well as an appreciation of contemporary Mayan culture,” McKean said. 

The majority of the art in the exhibit features clothing, but there are also many examples of Mayan dolls and purses. The display shows how the textiles are woven, why they are made and what significance they have. 

“The beauty of this exhibit is that it shows just how much a vibrant piece of fabric can tell about an individual,” McKean said. “Individuality is expressed by those who make and by those who wear these textiles.”

Behind the scenes, BYU graduate students have been working for the past two semesters to bring “Entwined” together. Each exhibition at the museum is created and designed by students. As part of their coursework, five students have been carefully crafting what will soon be on display.

“The Guatemalan textiles in the exhibition come from several large textile collections,” said Jessica Corbett, one of the graduate students curating the exhibit. “The pieces we've chosen are very colorful and have bright, intricate designs. They are also woven by hand, which makes them all the more impressive.”

Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, visit mpc.byu.edu or contact Anna McKean at (801) 422-1414 or mpc@byu.edu.

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Writer: Anna McKean

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