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Wayuu Bags

 

About the Wayuus

The Wayuu are the largest indigenous group of Colombia. Inhabiting the desertic region of La Guajira, the northernmost point of South America, they are an autonomous and matriarchal tribe.

More than exquisite craftsmanship, the Wayuu bags tell a handwoven story and represent a tradition of what it is to be a Wayuu woman.

The Wayuu tribe are comprised of +30 clans who live in rancherías, small isolated communities made of clay huts with palm roofs. A proud group, the Wayuu have been able to preserve their culture and language despite Europeans’ many attempts to colonize.

For the matriarchal tribe, the tradition of crochet and weaving is a symbol of womanhood, status and intelligence. Traditionally, women are taught to crochet during the “encierro” a sacred confinement which begins during their first menstruation and can last from months to years.

During this rite of passage into womanhood, a girl learns to care for the home, for her family and crochet. The longer the confinement, the finer a girl’s weaving skills become, making her a highly valued woman in her community.

Wayuu bags are a cultural heritage.

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