Perhaps you are familiar or have noticed that some huipiles originating from Chichicastenango depict an intricate and majestic double-headed “dragon or dragoness”. When Amy first started her journey with Hiptipico in September last year, she was immediately drawn to this symbol. She was so inspired by this motif that she created our newest “Dragoness” Collection. Initially we were told at the market that this symbol represents both the past and the future, but we of course wanted to find out more about the Maya mythology and story behind this symbol.
When the opportunity arose to chat with Yolanda, our artisan partner from near Chichicastenango, we of course took advantage of her vast knowledge of indigenous textiles and origin stories and asked her about it. Yolanda is always our go-to for huipil origin information from the Quiche region of Guatemala. All of these stories are passed down from generation to generation and they can be altered along the way, so we are always curious of her version!
Yolanda explained that this mythical creature was called an “IXCOT” (eesh - kot), which represented a “human-eating double headed hawk”, that was terrorizing a town, swooping down and eating all of its citizens. Many people perished and the town was paralyzed by fear of the human-eating hawk casting a somber shadow over them.
Desperate to restore safety to his town, one day The King announced that any man brave enough to kill the hawk would be rewarded with his daughter's hand in marriage. But most men were too fearful of the overpowering raptor to even try, and those who did succumbed to the hawk’s wrath. Yet one man who was madly in love with The King’s daughter valiantly faced the hawk until he slayed him. His heroic act brought peace over the small town and its people were finally freed from the strong grip of fear the hawk had held over them.
From this point on, the IXCOT has become a symbol of bravery, resilience and balance and is represented on many huipiles throughout indigenous communities in Guatemala.
We hope that when you carry a bag from our Dragoness Collection that you also carry with you this story and remember that your purchase helps preserve indigenous culture and helps ensure these myths don’t get lost over time. 🐲💜
“Ixcot, de origen k´iche´, tiene que ver con la Cosmovisión Maya. Significa energía femenina del ave de dos cabezas, tiene carácter sagrado y representa la dualidad.”
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