Why Mochila's Matter
Statement bags with global statement. Mochila's are more than just fashion, learn more about the women weavers of the Wayuu Tribe in Colombia.
WHY MOCHILA'S MATTER
At first glance, it's a statement bag. It catches your eye and draws you in with it's bright colors, fluttery tassels, and woven details.
But it's so much more than just another bag.
It's a livelihood. A tradition. A culture.
THE MOCHILA STORY
In Spanish, "Mochila" (pronounced mo-chill-a) means backpack. But in Colombia, it means a female member of the Wayuu Tribe spent 15-30 days weaving in a traditional style, pouring heart and soul into each bag. Wayuu women are taught crochet and weaving from an early age and the sole income for many families depends on crafting. Every Mochila bag is one-of-a-kind, unique to the weaver, telling stories through vibrant colors and magnificent patterns, each related to an object or aspect of Wayuu belief. The fabrication is such a uniquely feminine activity that they are sometimes symbolically viewed as an extension of the womb. In Wayuu culture, Mochila making is a sign of intelligence, creativity, and wisdom.
WHO ARE THE WAYUU
The Wayuu (pronounced Wah-yoo) are an indigenous tribe living in the desert of La Guajira. There are thought to be 100,000 to 300,000 Wayuu people living across Colombia and Venezuela. Wayuu life is simple, yet rich in culture and history. They live in small settlements called "rancherias" and are one of a few remaining matrilienial groups worldwide, with women playing the most important role in Wayuu life; children bear the mothers' last name, and females are regarded as family and cultural leaders.
WHY IT'S IN DANGER
Amid a desert geography and the impact of El Niño, La Guajira is under an extreme drought. Additionally, factors such as the closure of the border with Venezuela and corruption mean aid doesn't always reach those in need. Already in 2016, 21 children of the Wayuu Tribe have died due to malnutrition, lack of water, and famine related diseases. According to UNICEF, one in 10 of Colombia's children are suffering from chronic malnutrition.