Guatemalans seem to be an entire nation of artists. The riotous colors of their public gathering places and the patterns of their clothing are a feast for the eyes, each length of woven ikat cotton more beautiful than the next. But what is even more remarkable about the cloth the Guatemalan women weave on backstrap looms from earliest childhood is that it has preserved whole the Mayan culture from which these women descend.

Susan Gordon Lydon, The Knitting Sutra