Wayuu – Mochila Guajira


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Who are The Colombian Indigenous Group?

The Wayuu Group lives in the La Guajira Penninsula in the north of Colombia. These indigenous people live in desert temperatures inside small houses grouped together called “Rancherias”. Electricity is not something the Wayuu people get to indulge in like the rest of us and do not count on many resources to survive. They survive this harsh environment though now but their culture is in danger of becoming extinct.

On the other hand, High up in the beautiful mountains of Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta in the north of Colombia, the remaining settlements from the Arhuaco peoples are located. Having already had to flee once in their history when the Spanish conquerors arrived, they chose to live in this remote and difficult to access location in the hope of being able to live undisturbed and in accordance with their cultural beliefs. However, external forces are once again threatening to destroy their ways of living, as the mountains are rich in minerals and the ecosystem is fragile to climate change.

Why they make bags?

The making of Wayuu Bags is not just another task for women; it is a way of life and another way to preserve their culture. From a very early age, crocheting becomes a way of artistic expression. Then, young girls learn to weave as a way to tell their story. Through forms of weaving-meditation, the Wayuu seek spiritual enlightenment and a connection with their ancestors.

How to take care of your bag.

Although machine wash is not always harmful to your bag, it’s always advisable that you skip the machine wash if you can. The machine puts a lot of strain on the cloths, making it non-worthy for our costly bags. And sometimes, the bag shrinks and loses their original shape.  Hand wash is the best option to wash your bags. The manual wash helps you to keep control over the pressure area on the fabric. This will ensure whether you should rub more on the stain or just leave as it is.

If your stain is visible on a smaller area, you don’t need to wash the whole bag. It’s better to wash the dirty area only. Use a soft bristle brush and rub the area with detergent and brush.

If you have enough time, then let the bag dry in sunlight, it’s better than machine dry. Simply hang the bag in such a way that it retains its original shape. And make sure to not give it direct sunlight, instead dry them in a shade on a sunny hot day. Somerset and creates with love and care every single piece.