Oxib'B'atz' – Three Threads

A Maya women's handicraft association

About us October 1, 2010

Oxib’ B’atz’ /Tres Hilos/Three Threads is a non-profit organization based in New Bedford, Massachusetts founded by and for Central American women, and devoted to the preservation and transmission of traditional handicrafts, particularly weaving.

Oxib’ B’atz’ means “three threads” in Maya K’iche’, our mother tongue. “Tres hilos” is the Spanish translation. These three threads are the past, present and future. We who are alive today draw upon the wisdom of those who came before to weave something beautiful and lasting for both ourselves and future generations.

The word b’atz’ (thread) reflects deep cultural values. It means not only the fibers that are using in weaving and sewing, but also the sacred thread that connects human beings to our mother earth and the cosmos. B’atz’ also means the beginning. It is the first hieroglyph in our sacred text, the Popol Vuh, and is also one of the twenty sacred day-names in the Maya calendar.


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