Tzute, Guatemalan, 20th century, cotton, Bequest of Aaron J. Sharp, 1972.7.28.
Tzute’s, also known as servilletas, are multi-purpose textiles used for a variety of day-to-day activities. A servilleta is generally used to cover a basket or to wrap food, and a tzute refers to a head-cloth, neck-cloth, ceremonial wrapping or scarf to carry a baby. Tzutes tend to vary more in style and size depending on its intended ritual purpose. Like this one shown here, vibrant reds, purples, greens and yellows are woven into the cotton fabric in straight line form creating a plaid design. Originally, these multi-purpose cloths were apart of a strong Mayan costume tradition; however, due to increased exposure to western cultures, many of these garments are now only worn during ceremonial practices.