Luna*Zorro Pantolones Lumbar Pillows are sourced and created in the heart of a vibrant village called Sololá. Sololá sits at the base of a crater, surrounded by volcanoes in the western highlands of Guatemala where two of my partner cooperatives are located. With it’s picturesque panoramic views of Lake Atitlan, Sololá is a daily bustle of men, women, and children wearing their traditional hand-woven clothing rich with color and design. Sololá is an indigenous Mayan community of approximately 80,000 people; the most common language spoken in not Spanish, but rather a native Mayan dialect known as Kaqchikel.
Weaving is an intricate, thoughtful, and time-consuming art of major importance in all Mayan communities and a pillar of Mayan life. Women weave to provide clothing for their families and to earn a living by selling their gorgeous weavings, mostly in the public market place. Walking through those market places or around the country side, one can quickly learn to identify the designs and weaving specific to Sololá.
As a designer, I am always on the look out for ideas and inspiration. Although most of my designs are entirely original, I also love incorporating vintage Guatemalan textiles into my designs as a way of re-purposing and “upcycling” so many of the gorgeous textiles that are already here to be honored and enjoyed. One of those pieces in particular are the pants worn by the men in Sololá, as part of their traditional traje (outfit). From the first moment I set eyes on those pants, I have loved them! There is just something so amazing to me about men wearing such elaborate outfits, entirely woven by hand, for everyday life, even while farming or doing hard physical labor.
With the deepest respect for what it entails to weave these pants by hand on a backstrap loom, and while honoring what their original purpose is, I couldn’t help but begin to see what else these pants could be…because to me they’re like a work of art that needs to be celebrated! They are wide-legged pants and there is usually an added figurative detail on the bottom half, which I wanted to accentuate somehow. So, after some creative thinking, I decided to source a few pairs of the vintage Sololá pants and turn them into large lumbar pillows. In order to make them a bit more modern and functional, I chose to back them with more contemporary textiles, which are my own original designs handwoven on a foot loom specifically for Luna*Zorro.
I am proud of these pillows. Not only are they beautiful (in my opinion), but they are original, fun to make, and they have a story that is rich with culture and history combined with a modern twist. To me, that is the essence of Luna*Zorro and what I strive to achieve with all of my designs: to honor the incredible history of weaving in Guatemala while adding a slice of my own perspective
*if you are interested in ordering the pillows featured above, please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org ;)