The Wayúu bag, A part of the Colombian tradition

The Wayúu are a native colombian tribe that lives in north and middle Guajira - north Colombia. This ethnic group still jealously preserve their cultural traditions. Among them, weaving. A technique taught, according to the myth, by the spider or Wale ’Kerü.

In 2011 "Wayúu", was recognized as a Denomination of Origins. An initiative intended to protect the intellectual and property rights of this indigenous community of artisans. 


Within the community, men dedicate themselves to raise sheep and goats, plant corn, make musical instruments such as drums, and espadrilles made from old tires. Meanwhile, women weave hammocks, also called “chinchorros”, to sleep, and also beautiful colored handmade bags or mochilas that highlight the Wayúu beauty.

These handcrafted bags are the maximum expression of the Wayuú fabric. Are easy to recognize by their colors and designs. Mochilas are made in crochet (a technique introduced by Catholic missionaries in the early 20th century) and each piece can take approximately 20 days to make.

The colors we currently find in Wayuú bags were originally influenced by the Spanish colonization that introduced the use of acrylic threads that came in multiple colors.

Today, mochilas are gaining more traction nationally, and have become a traditional Colombian handicraft piece for the world that everybody loves.

Wale’ Kerü (The spider)

The Wayúu artisan wealth originates from the secrets of weaving and its relationship with a feminine spirit. For the Wuayúu people, more than a cultural practice and a heritage from their ancestors, weaving is a way of conceiving and expressing life as they feel and desire it.

According to the story, the spider or Wale ’Kerü was the one who taught the Wayúu woman to weave. Wale ’Kerü is a weaver spider who had already made sashes and hammocks when the dawn came, and it always made its drawings before spring.

Wayuu Bag WYU Handmade

Fibers and yarns

The Wayúu spin wild cotton, wicked magüey, aipis and other natural fibers typical of the region. They also twist ribbons of goat or beef cord to form threads, ropes, and twine as well as industrial wool for fine fabrics, in addition to the worn threads they reuse in "second-rate" fabrics. Either "in the leg", or with the help of the spindle, the Wayúu twist and twist threads in an "S" or "Z" shape.

Definitely this amazing culture has a lot magic to discover. Here at WYU we're focused on preserving their heritage and move heave an earth to bring their amazing mochilas to your home.  

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