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Beautiful Artisanal Goods

About THE WAYUU ARTISANS

The indigenous women of Venezuela and Colombia have not only been on the map for quite some time, now they're on our radar for creating the most beautiful artisanal bags, sandals, and hats. ​

They've been creating these beauties way before most of us were born, and the tradition, detail, passion, and color just resonates through their goods. 

 According to recent census, the Wayuu population is said to total approximately 438,000 people; 33% are in Colombia and the remaining 67% live in Venezuela. Nevertheless, the population tends to migrate between both countries given job opportunities, climate change and other factors. This frequent migration to urban centers has created drastic poverty among the Wayúu. 

These goods are a symbol of creativity, intelligence and wisdom for the Wayuu community, therefore, the labor of knitting is a hereditary practice passed on among many generations.

 

The women learn how to make handbags (known as Susus in Wayúunaiki) during puberty, in a stage of their lives known as “Blanqueo.” During this period, women can only be near their female relatives who are responsible for explaining all of the functions and the social behavior of the Wayuu women.

 

The majority of the designs in their knitting are geometrical shapes. Each bag is done solely by one person; therefore, each design is guaranteed to be unique. The labor put into making these bags is quite intricate, as it takes approximately twenty 8-hour days to finish just one of these Susu-bags.