The wayuu mochila
These rich colored bags are made by the skilled Wayuu Indigenous women that live in the dry arid region of La Guajira in the Northern Peninsula of Colombia. The bags are properly called, "mochilas" and they are completely weaved by hand, using only a crochet hook as their tool, no looms are ever used and the intricate patterns are weaved in as the woman crochets. The complex Wayuu method of crocheting is an art that is learned, a craft that is passed on from mother to daughter for generations. Each symbol weaved into the bag is of great significance, representing the nature around them and of their Wayuu customs. It is said, that the more complex and intricate a pattern, the higher in hierarchy the woman stands in her community. Women play an important role in the Wayuu community, they are the only ones that make the mochilas. Women are the representation of respect and unity. Men typically weave the straps that are later attached to the bags. The beliefs of the Wayuu people influence the colors and patterns weaved into each bag making each one a unique element to carry and a small window to their culture. Each bag is one of a kind, artisans never repeat their work, making it even more special and only as the person that is carrying it.
Embera Chami is another Indigenous tribe that is located in the Southern regions of Colombia and northern Panama. They mostly live along the river banks, but some have colonized to more populated areas along southern Colombia. The Embera Chami are known to be excellent crafters, they weave baskets so tightly woven that it can even hold water. All the artisania work done by the Embera is so labor intensive, that a single piece can take days and even months to finish. They use "chaquiras" or glass beads to make intricate body coverings and jewelry. The Embera Chami rely heavily on tourism to buy their beautiful and exquisite jewelry and artesania. The necklaces or "okamas" (indigenous word for necklace in Embera) are hand-made by stringing one bead at a time, this requires a lot of patience and a very good eye sight. Each piece can take days to make and usually are very complex in design, making it a bold fashion statement because of its uniqueness and rich colors.