First, we must come to know the Wayuu culture to truly understand what these Wayuu Mochila bags mean to their way of life. This Indigenous ethnic group of La Guajira reside in a peninsula of northern Colombia where they have lived for centuries. Their people are located on several reservations throughout the area in settlements of five to six houses. They typically name each settlement or “ranchería” a particular plant, animal, or geographical place. Each ranchería is always far apart from one another as not to interfere with goat herds between nearby neighbors. They communicate with each other through a native language preserved in elder generations known as, wayuunaiki, that is passed on to kids at a very early age. This promotes a key aspects such as tradition and family. These are two key components that have helped their culture continue to prosper to this very day. This group are builders of their own culture passing on the experiences to each generation which helps to drive income, support, and wellbeing throughout the region. Girls are taught many skills at a young age such as weaving, cooking, and how to ‘Be” with her husband; most marriages in the Wayuu culture are arranged as early as 10 years old. Polygamy is often practiced as well by men only. It is not uncommon for a man to have a few wives. Young women also are the only ones to go through important rituals at the age of 12 or the start of menstruation. This includes shaving of the head, eating a special vegetarian diet, and seclusion ranging anywhere from 2 months to 2 years. These rituals are taught to promote maturity and wisdom within each female as the women are the shamans and politicians unlike that of the men. Arranged marriages are used in order to protect families from social shame of having a kid out of wedlock. This would be a huge dishonor to any family in the Wayuu culture. Burials are also very sacred and unique to their culture. First, the cadaver is buried with personal belongings, and then after two years the body is exhumed, incinerated, put into ceramics, and buried once again in the cemetery. Their unique way of doing things has really shined in their culture generating things like their Wayuu Mochila bags, hammocks, and other articles of clothing. They are like no other people and their Wayuu Mochila bags bring out their incredible personalities with abilities that will be instilled in their culture for many years to come.
Now, we must discuss how to construct the Wayuu Mochila bags by hand. This can be done in one of two ways. They can either be crocheted by single or double thread. Single threads take more time as the thread is not as thick compared to that of the double thread. Because of this, single thread Wayuu Mochila bags can take as long as two months to be properly crocheted to their striking colorful designs. The double thread Wayuu Mochila bags are typically made in as little as 25 days. This process can still vary though. These beautiful bags can be constructed with many different colors and patterns requiring much more time and precision. Solid color bags are traditionally the ones that take the least amount of time as the thread does not need to be actively changed. These women spend many hours every day in the warm climate of Colombia along the Caribbean Sea sewing these one of kind Wayuu Mochila bags. No one else can craft such beauty out of a bag like the Wayuu women who have been making them for many, many years. One cannot so easily generate years of dedication, culture, and craftsmanship like these women have been forming for far longer than we can even know. So many blood lines before them have carried on their ideals driving the formation of a unique way of life. Our team has connected with these people to bring their culture around the world for people to see of all ages. Without these Wayuu Mochila bags the culture would not be thriving as wonderfully as it is right now. They have brought happiness to all parts of the globe. It is a privilege to help pass on their tradition to countries of all origins and backgrounds. This team actively wants to bring anyone who wants to be part of an amazing piece of history shown through their stunning Wayuu Mochila bags. Check out Wayuu Mochila Bags’ Online Store here.