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Colombian Wayuu Mochila Bags

During our last visit to Colombia, our great passion for familiarity with indigenous tribal arts led us to "La Guajira" region. a desert land at the northernmost territory on the South American continent - home to the Wayuu tribe.

The Wayuu inhabit the arid Guajira peninsula straddling the Venezuela-Colombia border. The central figure of the Wayuu religion is Maleiwa (God) creator of everything, of the Wayuu and the founder of society. Pulowi and Juya, spiritual beings, like demigods, are a married couple associated with procreation and life, where Pulowi is the female figure related to the wind and dry seasons, and juya the male, is a nomad and related to hunting who is seen as a powerful killer.

The Wayuu are known as the people of the sun, sand, and wind. They are located in the arid Guajira Peninsula in northern Colombia and northwest Venezuela. The Wayuu language is part of the Arawak family and is called Wayuunaiki. They survived the Spanish Conquest and had many fights and wars with the Spanish in the 1700′s. Today, there is thought to be around 110,000 – 140,000 Wayuu people living in Colombia, with another almost 300,000 living across the border in Venezuela.

The women of the Wayuu tribe have been hand weaving these bags for generations. Every single bag is different and unique, with intricate tribal designs and colors. Many of the designs that are woven into each bag represent the natural elements that surround the Wayuu, and what their culture revolves around, such as animals, the sun, planets, stars. It takes these women 10-15 days to complete each bag; they are a labor of love. these bags are rare art. Only small amounts are made because of the complexity and method to produce a single Wayuu Bag.

Of course, we did not restrain ourselves and fare traded some of their amazing works for you.

Join the Fair-Trade Movement with one of these Colombian Wayuu Mochila bags!

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