Weaving the Wayuu women’s history

In the middle of extensive desert areas, between cactus huts, sun, sand, and wind, in the Colombian peninsula of La Guajira, a story is erected. Under the female baton, a story with color is told, which has survived, remain, and can never be erased. A community that identifies with the Man*, but made by female pulse.

The woman is fundamental, is the mainstay in the social and cultural development of the Wayuu community. Since childhood, they are taught in art, leadership, life, and the history of their people. They are the future in sustaining their population, they are the ones who will carry the cultural, economic, political and social command that will allow them to continue being the community they are over the time. The men within the Wayuu population are subject to work such as grazing, construction, and repair their homes and bower.

As a central axis of the Wayuu culture, there is its art: a variety of crafts (Mochila bags, Wayuu hammocks (chinchorros), Wayuu manta dress, and bracelets) all hand weaved. This is their main skill which has propagated around the Colombian territory and beyond. It is the knowledge of an ethnic group capable of surviving the onslaught of history and the socio-political conditions of a country.

The weave is for the Wayuu community, and mainly for its women, a way of weaving life and preparing for it. It means weaving dreams and hopes, it is a memory, it is remembering what it was and what they are, and how they continue writing a story that must be told.

*Man = Wayuu: Which in Arhuaco means ‘powerful man’.

Wayuu woman weaving a Wayuu Hammock (Chinchorro)

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