August 17, 2017

Who are The Artisans behind Wayuu Bags? Wayuu People

 

“The Wayuu people see the reflection of  the world around them through dreams; their mythical vision is often confirmed through their intimate connection to their inner, spiritual self.” D.M.

A wayuu elderly woman crocheting a brown Wayuu bag in La Guajira Colombia

Who are the Wayúu?

Wayuu people are the largest indigenous community surviving in South America. Also, we know that the closest ancestors to the Wayúu are the Arawaks.

For over six hundred years, the Wayuu have lived in the northern peninsula of Colombia and Venezuela; they have been able to survive thanks to their strong cultural roots.

Despite all the struggles they continue to endure, these resilient individuals keep surprising the world with their talents. Know more…

 

a Wayuu woman an a child (wayuu people) on a donkey traveling the desert of La Guajira Colombia

Wayuu woman and child La Guajira, Colombia

How many Wayuu people are there?

The Wayuu are a community of more than 400.000 people, and thousands of them are expert weavers. The vast majority of them live in the desert, most of the time in precarious conditions.

How do Wayuu people survive in the desert?

The Wayuu count with a powerful cultural heritage and oral tradition. The women in the community have the vital role; to carry over their ancestors’ teachings into the new generations. One of the goals of all the teachings,  rituals, and rites of passage, is to nurture a person with skills and honor that will continue to support their tribal community.  They have to learn about Mother Earth and how this harsh environment has provided food and shelter for their ancestors.

A resting river in the desert of La Guajira Colombia

The Bayou La Guajira, Colombia

Why did Wayuu people start weaving and crocheting?

To begin with their heritage line, the Arwacks set up the way with their great weaving tradition.

Furthermore, the Wayuu have a Myth that transcends to their daily lives. The wise spider Wale’keru, taught the women of the tribe how to weave. She also taught them how to get inspiration from their dreams, nature, people around them and their personal human experience. More than just a hammock or a bag it must be an extension of oneself. Weavings show the true character of a Wayuu Woman.

On the other hand from the socioeconomic sense, the Wayuu have used their products to sustain their way of living. For example, they sleep in Hammocks, carry their tools around in mochila bags, use hats to protect them from the sun. For centuries they have traded their weaved goods with their neighbors.  Over the years the whole region experienced an economic surge; many families come to depend upon this artisan products.

Here you can learn more about Wayuu Mochila Bags…

A group of young Wayuu girl sitting around playing with traditional toys in the desert of La guajira Colombia

La Rancheria Uribia, Guajira

How are we helping the Wayuu people?

The fact is that most people that own a Wayuu Mochila Bag have helped the Wayuu. Indeed, we try to do our part every day by letting the world know about these amazing artisans. Our team works tirelessly to find the highest quality products in La Guajira, touching as many people as we can every time. The more products the Wayuu can sell, the more prosperity comes to the region. Presently, we are proud to say Wayuu-Mochila-Bags.com is the largest distributor of Wayuu Bags online. More…

Every fair-traded item in our store carries the Wayuu tradition; each unique bag tells a story. 

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