Who are the Wayuu

So, who are the artisans behind our bags? 

The bags are called Wayuu bags because they are handmade by the women of the Wayuu tribe; an indigenous tribe that arrived in La Guajira from the Amazon forest nearly 2000 years ago.

Wayuu袋的名字由來,源於「The Wayuu」,他們是哥倫比亞共和國的土著少數民族部落,差不多2000年前從亞馬遜雨林移居到沿海的拉瓜吉拉落地生根。而每一位Wayuu婦女工匠,靠著一雙巧手,以傳統工藝,成就Wayuu袋的誕生。

The Wayuu society is based on matrilineal clans, whose semi-nomadic lifestyle has traditionally revealed around hunting, fishing and animal herding. The tribe is most well known for making Wayuu bags. The Wayuu women learn to crochet at a very young age. During a Wayuu girl's first menstrual cycle, she is obliged to stay confined to a hut anywhere from six months to a year. During this time she is only allowed to be in touch with her mother and grandmother. It is during this time that she learns about the art of crocheting Wayuu bags. She learns the meaning of each pattern, triangle and colors used in her bags.

Wayuu是以女性為主導的母系族群,傳統上他們以狩獵、捕魚及半遊牧方式生活,而編織Wayuu袋是她們最享負盛名的傳統手藝。Wayuu女性從小就跟從媽媽學習編織Wayuu袋和鉤針的手藝,而每位Wayuu少女都會在第一個月經週期來潮時,必須承諾在未來的6個月至1年,留在一個密封的小屋內,學習編織和鉤針Wayuu袋的技巧,認識各種圖騰、三角線條和顏色的搭配,她們於這一段時間,只可以跟母親或祖母接觸。

The Wayuus have battled the Spanish Conquistadores, the Colombian Government over the years and, currently, climate change to keep their traditions alive. They have also been exploited by foreigners who profited from their work more than the artisans.

Wayuu族群除了經歷被西班牙征服及哥倫比亞政府的鬥爭之外,氣候變化亦是她們近來要面對的重要議題,然而她們不怕畏懼,努力去面對及解決問題,務求令她們的傳統得以延續及承傳。

Wayuu婦女匠人的收入亦都經常被剝削,她們的心血傑作多次被低價收購,然後外國商人會以高價販賣,牟取暴利。

We choose our suppliers very carefully. We make sure the artisans are paid a fair price for all the hard work they have put in crocheting the beautiful Wayuu bags. The suppliers we work with deal directly with the artisans hence eliminating the middle men. By purchasing our products you are supporting local artisans and the Wayuu People .

所以,我們在選擇合作夥伴的時候,訂下了一個最基本的條件,便是Wayuu婦女匠人一定要得到最公平合理的工資,使她們可以靠自己的力量、畢生心血及巧手,賺取一個可以令她們生活有所改善的機會。

而我們最終選擇的合作夥伴,是不需經過任何中間人,可以直接與Wayuu婦女匠人聯絡和溝通的公司,所以,當你們在購買漂亮的Wayuu袋的同時,也是在幫助當地的婦女匠人,以及整個Wayuu族群。