The Origins of Wayuu Patterns in Wayuu Bags


The KANAASÜ: A collection of Wayuu Patterns

Until now, the Kanaasü, a collection of old Wayuu patterns and designs, has represented the foundation of the Wayuu Art. There, we find the earliest designs used on the recognizable Wayuu bags. Currently, various Wayuu Clans have tried to compile and preserve the heritage and cultural identity represented in these patterns.

Moreover, the elders of the tribe tell stories about a spider named Walekérü. Such wise creature, through her weaving patterns, would teach the Wayuu how to weave incredible products. She would create Wayuu patterns all night, tracing paths with the representative figures that we all currently know as the Kanaasü.

Indeed, learning the Kanaasü could seem easy for some that do not understand the complexity of the designs. To use this collection of Wayuu patterns to create the astonishing Wayuu bags; one must know how to use it in the design correctly, how to pair it and ultimately understand the value of the message represented on each piece. The creation of Wayuu art requires great dedication and attention to detail.

JALIIANAYAA: The beginning of the Kaanasü

wayuu patterns wayuu bagsJaliianayaa is the beginning, specifically, the Mother of the Kanaasü; It is the figure formed by opposing triangles. Young girls start developing their weaving and crocheting skills with this original Wayuu pattern. They create small Wayuu bags and accessories through the observation and imitation of their elders.

Additionally, they learn how to expertly weave as a rite of passage.  When Wayuu girls go through puberty, they confine themselves in their homes accompanied by their mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. There, they confection their Wayuu bag with an intricate pattern that represents them as an individual. Then, they learn about their role in the community and some adult responsibilities they will now have to assume.

The current Wayuu Patterns

Nowadays we see a great variety of designs. Through the years, more and more skilled artisans add different intricate patterns to the Kanaasü. As a result of the dedication and hard work of these artisans, we witness the rise to popularity of the stylish Wayuu bag. 

Following, you can appreciate some of the most popular patterns showcased on our beautiful Wayuu Bags.