In a country filled with beautiful beaches, towering mountains, and rich rainforests, many do not realize that the indigenous peoples of Colombia often struggle to make a living and support their families. Nestled in the Guajira Peninsula in northern Colombia, the Wayuu people strive to preserve their way of life amidst land reallocations and a dwindling water supply that threatens their very existence.
The Wayuu are the largest indigenous tribe in Colombia. They take pride in traditional customs, particularly in their weaving practices, which are passed down from generation to generation. The Wayuu weave images into their bags and products, often using vivid colors and patterns to represent their customs, nature, and even their own personality. The methodology and intricacy behind this practice means every weaving is unique, and can take up to one month to complete. By purchasing the Wayuu’s works of art, you are supporting the Wayuu and their ancient way of life, while enabling them to share their talents and stories with the world.
Kankuamo and Arhuaco Communities
Along the ridgeline of the Sierra Nevadas, live the Kankumo and Aruhaco people. Both deeply religious, the Kankumo and Aruhaco have the utmost respect for nature, relying on farming to feed their families and provide a source of income.
Fighting to protect their way of life from overdevelopment, while still striving to provide education, clean water, and nourishment for their children, these native Colombians rely on fair trade networking set up by groups like Genesis. The Kankumo have a weaving style similar to the Wayuu and create gorgeous handmade jute bags. The weavings are so distinct, that no two are ever identical. From the Aruhaco people, we purchase bags called mochilas, featuring mostly earth tones of creams and browns, key chains, and handbags. Each creation is inspired by self-expression from the artisan, reflecting personal experience, mood, and inspiration found in nature.