San JuanĀ Chamula

Men in traditional dress, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico

Men in traditional dress, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico

In San Juan Chamula, high in the hills of Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico on the border of Guatemala, traditional dress is still universally worn. The men wear these woolen coats, white in summer, black in winter, while the women wear long black skirts of the same material all year round despite the heat. These men are bargaining for some shellfish in Tzotzil (pronounced sote-seel), the Cholan Mayan language still spoken in this area. The preservation of Tzotzil, together with many other Indio languages is now seen as increasingly important and all teachers are required to be bi-lingual in both Spanish and the local traditional tongue.

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