Colombia is a country of vast, diverse landscapes, rich in gold and precious stones, and home to a vibrant, indigenous population of skilled artisans. The native people of Colombia have a long, historical tradition in the art of handicrafts and have been making striking bags and hats from natural materials for centuries. These skills have been passed down through the generations since pre-Colombian times and are very much alive today.
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For many indigenous communities their hand-crafted products have become an important source of income and provide a way to protect their lifestyles and traditions. Colombian Connection travels throughout Colombia establishing links with local, indigenous communities to source a stunning array of bags and hats directly from traditional artisans.
Our Mochila Bags are woven by the women of the Wayuu , located in the La Guajira region of Colombia, the most northerly tip of Latin America. The Wayuu are known for their strong weaving tradition and the women learn to weave and crochet, as part of every day life, from an early age. Each bag is an original and can take up to a month to make using the traditional weaving techniques handed down from their ancestors.
We have hats too from La Guayira - traditional sombreros, necessary because of the heat of the sun here at the northernmost tip of South America where the desert meets the sea. By visiting this region repeatedly, we have developed close relationships with Wayuu communties and organisations. They are a people very proud of their culture and tradtions which they still live by today.
Our caps come from the Zenu people who live in the Cordoba region of northwest Colombia. The traditional skill of making hats from Cana Flecha, or Arrow Cane, has been handed down from generation to generation. Now, entire villages are involved and the sale of their hats is a valuable economic resource for the whole community. The women braid the natural fibres by hand while the men sew the braids together to create distinctive headwear sporting symbols and geometric designs that go back centuries.
Colombia Connection is committed to trading directly with these isolated communities. Now you can buy these quality handmade ethnic products here in the UK in the safe knowledge that you are helping to preserve the traditions and cultures of the native Latin American Indians, whose sustainable lifestyles are now threatened by urbanisation, unsustainable industrial manufacturing and so on...