The Wayuu come from a millenary weaving tradition. Their ancestors, the Arawaks, weave beautiful crossbody bags out of wool to carry their daily working tools and trinkets.
Wayuu myths tell the story of a wise spider who taught the Wayuu Women how to weave and saw. Then, After the Spanish settlers had arrived in South America, the nuns who came with them taught the Wayuu women how to crochet. They adopted and developed this technique on their own, making it a pivotal part and a rite of passage for the females in the tribe.
The making of Wayuu Bags has aided the survival of this resilient community. Women of the tribe are in charge of preserving the crochet and weaving traditions. They start honing their craft from an early age. By the time they reach their adulthood, these weavers can create seemingly perfect intricate patterns all around a bag. Thus many crochet enthusiasts admire the work of the Wayuu.
The women engage in weaving hammocks, mochilas or different types of purses for women and men. They also make colorful blankets that highlight the Wayuu beauty, creativity, and tradition. As of late, the men have joined the women making the bags, they mostly weave the straps and use this pattern and technique to make shoes, belts, wallets and other crafts.
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