1. The Wayuu are The Original Creators and Makers of Wayuu Bags
The Wayuu are the makers of the colorful Wayuu Mochila Bags. They have been weaving and crocheting for centuries now. The technique was born out of the adaptation of traditional European crochet. Many remarkable attributes are dwelling inside their practices. Firstly, their delicious food, their ancestral knowledge of nature and spirituality, and their incredible craftsmanship shown through the making of crochet items.
2. The Wayuu Live in a Harsh Environment
La Guajira Penninsula in the north of South America could be a hostile environment for any living creature. Temperatures rise to 38°C or 100°F, making it almost impossible to work outside all day long. Especially, the tribesmen lack the primary resources we sometimes take for granted like water, food, electricity, and a toilet. Even with all the hardships they face, the Wayuu clans fight fiercely to survive, uphold their communities, and sustain their culture and mother tongue, Wayuunaiki.
3. Wayuu Houses Are Made Primarily With Mudd
These indigenous people live in these desert temperatures inside small houses grouped called “Rancherias.” Electricity is not something the Wayuu people get to indulge in like the rest of us. Usually, there are just two rooms. One is for sleeping by way of hammocks and the other for personal belongings such as Wayuu mochila bags, clothing, and ceramics for water storage. Ceilings are made from dried cactus hearts and wood while walls are composed of mud, hay, and dried canes. While these traditional styles comprise the majority of their infrastructure, some clans have resorted to using modern materials such as cement. Although times have certainly changed since the inception of their culture, the pure nature of their culture has helped them thrive to this very day.
4. The Wayuu Handcraft a Wide Variety of Artisan Goods
Wayuu Mochila Bags, their most popular artisan craft, showcases only a small part of their diverse culture. Dancing, traditional games, artisan products, and regional food dishes, play a significant role in this festival uniting both the Colombian and Venezuelan Wayuu people. Yes, that’s right. The Wayuu people live on both the Colombian and Venezuelan sides. The neighboring countries share the peninsula where the Wayuu people reside. This festival brings both sides together as ritualistic practices and food are often different on each side of the border.
5. The Wayuu Land is a Magical Place
La Guajira Penninsula, north of South America, houses the Wayuu. The tribesmen know nothing, but warm weather, as the region is mainly desert land that runs into the Caribbean Sea. Massive dunes collide with the ocean like that of the Dunes of Taroa. These high dunes located at the northernmost site of both Colombia and South America often described as a mirage due to its vast beauty, compliment the landscape of the arid sandy region. If you start to descend south, you find the Makuira Mountain Range, The Uribia Desert, Cabo de La Vela, and finish in Provincia, close to the rainforest. Going through La Guajira is like visiting many countries all in one, all places so amazingly different.