What is Mayan Clothing Made of?

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The materials and decoration of ancient Mayan clothing marked status and gender differences.

1 Men's Clothing

Loincloths consisted of a band of cotton cloth. Sandals were made of leather.

2 Women's Clothing

Maya women wore a woven cotton skirt. Their head and shoulders were covered with a cotton shawl.

3 The Elite

Kings wore a large square of cotton cloth wrapped around the shoulders. They also wore capes made of embroidered cotton or jaguar pelts. At times sisal, from the agave plant, or silk was used. Headdresses were made of iridescent tail feathers from the quetzal (kate-Sal) bird.

4 Lower Society

Less decorated cotton wraps were worn by the common man. Warriors wore jackets made of quilted cotton for protection.

5 Today

Men and women still wear traditional clothing made of woven lightweight cotton. Men wear wide belts made of leather, cloth, or cord.

Derek Bullard has more than 25 years of writing experience and is published in Backpacker, Toy Shop, and Murderous Intent Mystery Magazine. Bullard has a business degree from The University of Oklahoma, and has a background in sales, marketing, and administration.