The Wayuu People
Origin of the Wayuu Mochila bag.
It is Important to know where the Wayuu mochila bag originates, so you can truly appreciate the time and skill that goes into making one of these beautiful bags. Wayuu is the largest Native American ethnic group in Colombia.The Wayuu inhabit the arid desert. The area straddles the Venezuela-Colombia border on the Caribbean coast. Resources are very limited and transportation is hard and dangerous. However it is such a beautiful place. It is located where the desert meets the sea, creating amazing landscapes and contrasts.
Wayuu people are amazing, so full of life and happiness.
A traditional Wayuu settlement is made up of five or six houses known as a caserios or rancherias. The house is typically a small structure called a piichi or miichi. it is generally divided into two rooms with hammocks to sleep in. The Wayuu people have preserved a way of life that has been passed down through the generations. Therefore, their way of life remains unchanged by modern culture.
The Wayuu culture is diverse, but one of the most significant parts of the Wayuu culture is the art of weaving. To the Wayuu, weaving is a symbol of wisdom, intelligence and creativity. The Wayuu people pass the skill down from generation to generation from Mother to Daughter. The elder Wayuu women teach the younger women to weave a variety of intricate woven items. However the Mochila bag is the most renowned.
The Wayuu mochila bag is the main source of income for the people. The tribe supports and preserves it’s way of life by selling the bags.
How Long Does it take to make a Wayuu Bag?
Women hand weave the Mochilla Bag, so the weave is individual to each weaver. The weaver tells stories through colours, patterns and shapes. The weaver can take up to 3 – 4 weeks to complete a Wayuu mochilla bag. The end is unrivalled in quality.