The Wayuu (pronounced “Wah-you”) is an indigenous Latin American group that inhabits in the desert of La Guajira Peninsula which is situated between the borders of Colombia and Venezuela.
This Tribu lives in little settlements called “Rancherias,” which consist of 5 - 6 houses made with wood structured and watercress towns. Within these settlements, you can observe a way of life that has been preserved by its tows through generations and appears to remain on time in a way that it is almost inherent to the modern culture that you can find anywhere else in Colombia.
The Wayuu is organized on matrilineal clans, the Wayuu kids wear their mother’s surname, making that the Wayuu women are not only the center of the family but also the cultural leader of their ethnic. One of the most critical aspects of this culture is the practice of the Wayuu women in the art of knitting bags. Each mother teaches her daughter how to knit, maintaining alive and vibrant their culture.
For the women, to knit is a sign of wisdom, intelligence, and creativity. When a Wayuu woman has a significant age, she starts to practice the lessons of her mother and to create bags with her designs, which are based on essential symbols of their culture, or directly in their imagination influenced by the incredible landscape that the Guajira desert offers.
"Using a Wayuu bag means to become a cultural messenger."
A Fabulous Origin.
According to the legend, the tradition comes from “wale’keru,” a spider that tough the Wayuu women how to knit their drawings in the bags.
The intertwined designs of each bag is a unique knit that tells a story through its colors and forms. There are almost infinite ways to build each of these art pieces which each woman take even a month to complete. Using a Wayuu bag means to become a cultural messenger.
Today, the beauty and meaning of these bags have become financial support that allows conserving the ways of ethnic life in the tribe.