EMBERA CHAMI

Indigenous community.
Antioquia, Colombia

Nacavera Family, originally from Pueblo Rico, Risaralda Colombia. Is one of many other Embera families displaced by violence in Uribe’s Government, almost 10 years ago. They are currently living in Pereira´s city, surrounded by traffic, media manipulation and consumption. The only cultural and economic activity that Embera adults still keep alive since pre-Columbian times is the manufacturing of jewellery made with colorful beads. Young Embera people are losing their mother tongue and their Embera memory as they are growing up in cities. My invitation today is for choosing NO VIOLENCE, supporting peace negotiations, cultural development and the possibility of investing in social capital. This is the reason for Asai Arte Colombia to exist, in order to give support and encourage Nacavera´s family to continuing weaving and constructing a different society.

Poncho Land

Boyacá, Colombia

“RUANA” for Colombians is basically a square of woven wool with a hole in the middle on which you put your head out! It is really warm and comfortable. Traditionally made in Boyacá since pre-Columbian times!

Indigenous used to wear it before colonization not only for cold protection but also to reflect their social position and for the distinction between women and men!

KUNAS

Indigenous community.
Amazon Region, Colombia.

Molas (patchwork fabric) are made by members of the Kunas community indigenous culture, who live in parts of a mainland strip in northwestern Colombia and the island of san Blas in Panama and in Necocli Colombia. Traditionally, molas are manufactured by Kuna women whose design for each mola is unique, there are never a two repeated molas.

Women wear molas every day of their lives and are even buried with them. Molas are made by hand with reverse-appliqué needlework. Two or more layers of cloth are stitched together so that the design shows through opening in the layers. The design is inspired by shapes and figures from the world that surrounds the community.

Molas have their origin in body painting that was transferred to cloth. They represent Kunas cosmogony philosophy, a graphic vision of a world full of color, and anthropomorphic and zoomorphic significance.

Mutumbajoy Family

Valle de Sibundoy, Colombia

The Mutumbajoy family create bracelets in colorful beads with geometric and pre-columbian patterns that make part of the indigenous Kamtsa-Ingas cosmogony world. This community has inherited the Quechua pre-columbian roots including the language. Women are the ones who elaborate the bracelets , reflecting fragments of their presentiments for the future of who is wearing them. The bracelets also attempt to depict images of indigenous experiences under the trance of Yagé (ayahuasca), a sacred plant used in religious ceremonies and rituals.

TIKUNAS

Indigenous community.
Amazon Region, Colombia.

Tikunas use “Chambira” which is a wild palm transformed into thread used to design wearable craft. This native palm tree provides the fiber most commonly used by tikuna women to weave.   The newer leaves of the native chambira are used and harvested.   Commonly, Tikuna men harvest the chambira palm trees and the women carry them back home. She peels off the top layer of the palm leaves and puts the fiber on the sun in order to let it dry. After the fiber is dry, the women roll the native chambira fiber along their thighs to make a twine. The twine is then used to weave hammocks, wrist ornaments (pulseras), bags, bracelets and necklaces by stringing beads onto chambira threads.