Photographer's Note

Chichicastenango, located about 140 km northwest of Guatemala City, is an indigeneous town, home to what is surely one of the most colorful native markets in North and Central America. The Spanish conquistadors gave the town its name Tzitzicaztenanco, or "City of Nettles".

The famous handicraft market of Chichicastenango draws not only the K'iche' Maya of the surrounding region, but vendors from all over Guatemala. They represent many of Guatemala's linguistic groups such as Mam, Ixil, Kaqchikel and others, each hawking his or her products in a riotous cacophony of color, dialects and costumes, smoke, and smells. This town in the mountains of Quiche has been, since pre-Hispanic times, one of the largest trading centers in the Maya area.

In the central part of the market plaza are small eateries called “comedores”. I was sitting at one of the comedores in the plaza, watching those young girls chatting, while I was trying to catch a good pose. The girl at the centre looked like she was probably only 16 years old, though she had a ring.

After I took the shot, they all turned towards me and smiled. I still regret I didn’t take a second shot there but, you know, those were the days of analog cameras and not digitals, and slides were not cheap for a student. :-)

Scanned from slide, applied sharpness & saturation, and local burn.


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Additional Photos by Erdem Kutukoglu (Suppiluliuma) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 266 W: 105 N: 604] (3931)
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