Wayuú Legends, a window into a world full of fantasy

Since the genesis of the first societies, humans have sought to transmit orally, through different fantastic stories, the stories of beings that embody the forces of nature, aspects of the human condition, and the world in which they live. These facts can be real or fabulous. These types of stories are known as legends.

In Colombia, for example, you can find a vast number of ancestral cultures that, throughout their history, have repeated stories that, mystically and fantastically way, began their customs or their very existence and that thanks to the narratives have been transmitted between generations. Among these ethnic groups, we find the Wayúu; located in the Guajira peninsula, the northeastern part of Colombia, bordering Venezuela.

Through an extensive list of magical stories, this ethnic group from La Guajira tells their version of how their world has been built. For example, the Wayúu are known for their great ability to weave, which, they say, has been passed down from generation to generation. According to Wayuu tradition, in an unidentified place on the peninsula, a young hunter found an orphan girl, abandoned to her fate. The sorrowful hunter took her home, giving her to her sisters, to care for her and teach her the feminine trades. But instead of caring, the girl would be insulted and treated despotically by the hunter's sisters. On a very lonely night, the girl was transformed into a beautiful maiden. The young hunter, called Irunuu, discovered the qualities of the girl turned maiden, who then punished the sisters by turning them into bats; Irunuu, in love with the girl, wanted to hold her, but when he tried to hug her, a shred of cobweb was left in his hands. The young hunter collected the fabrics and kept them so that the new Wayuu generations could learn the art of weaving. In this way, the varied expression of weaving began to spread throughout the península, turning into beautiful handmade items such as hammocks, bags, wallets, among others.

Another legend of this ethnic group of the guajira, relates that the Wayúu consult their loved ones who have died, the gods, nature, through dreams, to be able to make important decisions for their lives, such as traveling, moving to another ranchería (home), to make a business or to prevent evils. They affirm that their loved ones walk from one place to another through some places in this region, crossing Cabo de la Vela, Punta Helada, passing through Cerro Pilón de Azucar and the Devil's cave. The story tells that their coming and going has no end, and that their presence spreads throughout the Guajira desert.

Like these, there are a great variety of stories that give the Wayuú culture a unique color in its history and create a world of fantasy that, knowing it, makes our imagination fly and helps us understand the patterns that hide behind their crafts.

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