My symbol, my nature

Legend says that hundreds of years ago, hidden in the immensity of the night, under the moonlight, a spider named in Wayuu language “Walekerü” was preparing to weave girdles and bags with great skill. That day, surprised by her skill, a girl came to observe with the greatest admiration. With a great feeling of euphoria, the spider saw the girl reaction and offered her to teach her her art of weaving, and thus moon after moon became her teacher. When this girl reached her age of majority, and when her first menstruation came, the spider decided to disappear. Walekerü goal had been met, she gave this girl, now a woman, her most precious skill. She handed the technique of the Wayuu to her and to the heritage of humanity.

The symbolic samples reflected in the Wayuu cultural and artistic tradition are rich in meaning. They are the greatest element of unity between the community and its natural environment as well. As in the legend of the spider and the girl, weaving, and to a lesser extent production of ceramics, is a tradition that is inherited from generation to generation. This is an exclusive art of Wayuu women, who by tradition are those who they exercise power and cultural development in these indigenous tribes.

Appreciating the art of the Wayuu community allows us to understand how these symbols are present in all the utilitarian pieces of their daily lives. It also facilitates the first approach to learn about the respect that this community professes for nature and its identity with the different animals. The animals represent the identity of clans, of which today are about 30, and they are also the definition of their territorial areas. The symbols that are embodied in each of the objects identifies castes, clans, territories, inheritances, past lives, a history tied to living nature in its representations.

Entering the Wayuu symbology requires a willingness to understand from the symbology itself, without seeking from our colonizing language an accurate interpretation, but from times when the visual exceeded the linguistic.

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