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Spotlight on:

Colombia’s Regions

CAUCA

The Andean mountain knot of the Colombian Massif is located in Cauca. There, the central and western mountain ranges of Colombia are born, as well as the two great Colombian Inter-Andean rivers, Cauca and Magdalena. Its capital, Popayán, has a historic center which remains with all its colonial architecture

The indigenous community with which we work in Cauca are the Eperara Siapidara.

The culture of the Eperara community is interpreted in two space worlds: The ‘’ethereal world’’ – world of Jai, of spirits or shadows – and the ‘’physical world’’ – ecosystem where society unfolds.

The community stands out for their agricultural work. They are led by the ‘’Tachi Nawe’’ (our mother), the highest spiritual chief and priestess.

Artisans from this region: Alejotapias Studio, Liliana Grueso.

SAN JACINTO, BOLIVAR

San Jacinto is a municipality in Colombia located in the north of the country, in the department of Bolívar and 120 km southeast of Cartagena de Indias. It is a national pioneer in exports of handicrafts and agricultural products such as tobacco and coffee.

San Jacinto is considered to be the first artisan center of the Atlantic coast, in addition to being the first marketer of products made in vertical loom such as hammocks and its diversification. The municipality also produces products made in crochet and macramé, as well as wood products, saddlery and bagpipe instruments among others. The artisans in charge of the production of these craftsmanships are the women head of household and daughters over 12 yrs old, who inherit this art from an early age.

Artisans from this region: Damaris Buelvas.

USIACURI

Its name is formed by the combination of the terms Usía, which means lordship, and Curí, the name of the chief who inhabited that place.

Handicrafts are made in Iraca´s palm and most of the inhabitants of the town are dedicated to making purses, baskets, picture frames and all kinds of objects.

An important line of the economy of Usiacuri is the craftsmanship which is represented in Iraca palm fabrics. The products made of this vegetable attract tourists to trade hats, purses, bread boxes, baskets, furniture and various ornaments. The weaving technique used by artisans in the production of products in Iraca is one of the richest and most delicate in the entire national territory.

Artisans from this region: Sandra Muñoz .

CAQUETA

The Caquetá region begins at the foot of the Andean mountain and ends in the Amazon jungle. With the exception of the populations located at the base of the mountain, and a few indigenous hamlets on the banks of the great rivers, the rest of the territory is practically uninhabited and covered with thick humid tropical rainforest.

Before the Spanish conquest, these lands were occupied by numerous indigenous groups, many of which subsist today. Part of their cultural legacy is represented by petroglyphs. The community Korebaju, which means “children of the earth”, were previously known as Guajes, Payagaxes, Guaques and Piojés. Its economy depends on agriculture, fishing and crafts. They make mud artifacts, such as totoro pots for cooking and for roasting coca; they also weave misirü backpacks with cumare fiber, with which men make the hâurü hammocks. They also craft yowü canoes and yowati oars to navigate the rivers.

Artisans from this region: Leonidas Gutierrez. .

CHOCÓ

It includes the jungles of Darién and the basins of the Atrato and San Juan rivers. It is the only department in Colombia with coasts on the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Chocó is also the only department bordering with Panama and is therefore connecting the two continents. In it is the ecoregion that probably has the greatest rainfall on the planet.

In the 15th century, the European conquerors arrived at the Urabá Chocoano, known by the name of Darién, inhabited by indigenous, sedentary hunters and fishermen, belonging to the Kunas, Chocoes, Noanamaes (Kunas, Emberas and Waunaans). Inside the Chocoana jungles inhabit the Wounaan or Noanamá indigenous people, recognized in the artisanal world for the fineness of their baskets or “Werregue cocas”.

Artisans from this region: Bamboleira, Arcenio Moya.

 

SAMPUÉS

The name Sampués derives from One Sampuí, name of the indigenous chieftain who ruled the place upon the arrival of the Spaniards at the end of the 16th century. The community of Sampuí had imposed itself on the community preceded by the chief Tumbalí, with whom he fought until he seized his lands. The economy is mainly agricultural activities and especially handicrafts, there is the famous ‘’Sombrero Volteao’’ or Vueltiao Hat. It is currently one of the most prosperous municipalities in Sucre.

The vueltiao hat is a typical garment of the savannahs of Córdoba, Sucre and Bolívar, and one of the main handicrafts of Colombia. The municipalities of Tuchín, Córdoba, and Sampués, Sucre, are considered the cradles of the Vueltiao hat. It is made from the leaves of the arrow cane, a grass native to the region. In 2004, Colombian Congress elevated it to the category of Cultural Symbol of the Nation.

Artisans from this region: D’Graccia.

MEDELLÍN

Medellín is a captivating city, not only for its pleasant climate (it is around 24 ° C throughout the year, for which it is called ‘’La ciudad de la eterna primavera’’ or The city of eternal Spring), but also for the kindness of its people, its delicious food and that paisa charm that makes visitors fall in love. In Medellín the globally recognized Flower Fair is celebrated, one of a handful of places in the world offering such a variety of flowers. Medellín is also the scene of top-level events, such as Colombiamoda, the Book Festival, Expoartesano, amongst many others.

Artisans from this region: Oropendola

CARRIBEAN

The Caribbean is one of the most colorful and cheerful regions of the country. Its beaches, its flavors, its festivals, its music, its people and its stories are the cradle of the Garciamarquiano magical realism, and make this place one of the most prominent tourist destinations in Colombia.

It is a place of historical cities, paradisiacal beaches and great gastronomic diversity. The vueltiao hat stands out, but is also home to the mochila arhiaca, the hammocks of San Jacinto, the three-pointed coats and the wayù garments.

Artisans from this region: Tucurinca

SANDONA – NARIÑO

Sandoná smells like coffee, palm and ‘’melcocha’’. It looks like a peasant town with sloping streets, surrounded by mountains of different shades of green, with its abundant crops and, in the distance, the towers of the imposing basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, gothic and built in stone. Sandoná is a village of peasants and artisans.

Traditionally, men are responsible for collecting straw, preferably on a waning moon, choosing it according to its color and fineness. After drying and bleaching it, and in some cases dyeing it, the girls, women and old women are engaged in weaving in a family workshop.

Artisans from this region: Regia & Victoria.