Right now I am totally adoring the Mochilas bags that are made by the Wayuu people of Colombia and Venezuela. They are sold in various boutiques and online stores but the ones I’ve been specifically looking at are sold through CordoBags. The bags are made in the traditional Wayuu manner and feature traditional art designs.
The Wayuu people are the largest Amerindian group in the Americas. They are a largely matriarchal society that uses weaving and needlework to link the women across the generations. According to the CordoBags website:
“The life experiences of the Wayuu women are expressed in the many shades and shapes of their weaving. For Wayuu women, their mochila or SUSU is not just a bag, but a carrier of their identity. Women rule and live around weaving in a literal and metaphorical sense: they are the threads that unite families and clans.”
Here are a couple more:
Note: Lately I’ve been seeing (and featuring) a lot of news about small companies like this one (including Same Sky, Jishike Social Couture and Escama Studios) that are based in the United States and work with artisans who crochet in other countries. A key goal of these businesses is to provide a livable wage to artisans for their craft work, helping to support families in need. In all cases that I’ve seen so far the goal is specifically to help empower mothers in supporting their loved ones using their craft skills. Now from everything that I’ve read these companies seem legitimate and like they are truly helping others but I do always like to note that I’ve never actually worked with these companies and don’t know firsthand about how they are regulated to provide a high standard of living and fair wage to their out-of-country workers. It’s something I’ve set a goal to research more thoroughly this year.