Seven things about Wayuu People. Living in the Desert.

1.The Wayuu is one of the oldest indigenous tribes of the American continent. Unlike other tribes, it managed to survive the persecution and extermination by the colonizers. They settled in Colombia in the desert of La Guajira, and in Venezuela in the state of Zulia. At present, they are 45% of the population in the Department of La Guajira and 11% of the population of Zulia state in Venezuela.

        Guajira Map


  “Suchepa” Face Painting


2. The Wayuu economy is based on agricultural activities, fishing, and crafts. The latter has become the emblem of Wayuu women and their recognition throughout the world. According to Wayuu's story, the art of weaving was taught by Wale Kerü (the spider woman) in the technique of crochet, and it is the way the adult women transmit this tradition to the younger women.

Goats in Corral


 3. The most important product is the mochila, which has become part of the Colombian tradition and the Wayuu heritage. That is because when a Wayuu woman weaves a mochila, she weaves her dreams, interweaves her life in each stitch, expressing her deepest thoughts. To make a mochila, you need to choose from weaving a double tread fabric or a single tread one. In the first one, the woman takes about three days to finish the mochila. The second one takes around three weeks, and that is because the design is extremely detailed. They need to have a high level of ability in this technique to make the mochila.

 Wayuu Woman Weaving

  Vogue magazine Wayuu Mochila

 Cosmospolitan magazine Wayuu Mochila

Magazine with Katy Perry with a Wayuu Mochila

4. Wayuu weaving has names that allude to facts and objects of daily life. The Wayuu extract their essence, simplifying and exploring them to translate into their fabrics. That is the case of the KANNAS.

 5. The rancheria is a set of traditional houses intertwined harmoniously with their surroundings. It has at least one enramada (Quiosque), a ranch, a kitchen, and corrals.

Wayuu Rancheria

6. Because of its freshness, the enramada is the center of social life. It is where people, socialize, spend the day doing some work or simply resting in a chinchorro (handmade hammocks).
The enramada consists of a flat roof supported by horcones (wooden pillars). The roof structure is built with the different materials available in each place. It can be Yotojolo, which is the heart of the cactus cut longitudinally to form gutters. The gutters are shaded and secured on the roof, complemented by the branches of Shururui.   They are used similarly to the Yotojolo. The difference lies in how the weight of the crossed trunks is used to secure the branches, according to the material availability. Sometimes, they use the stalks of corn or millet that replace the Shururui.
Wayuu Enrramada

7. It the housing unit of a Rancheria. It has a gabled roof that can be of Yotojolo or Trupillo bark. The walls of the ranch are made of Bahareque or Yotojolo.
Enea straw or coconut palm tree leaves are used for for the roof covering, and the wooden boards for the walls. This material is collected on the beach, and it all depends on the availability.
*local trees (Yotojolo, trupillo)

Wayuu Rancho


The conditions of the place are precarious in the arid desert. Adding up, extreme temperatures and dryness, make this environment inhospitable. Altogether, these factors are directly related to the salubrity conditions for the Wayuu.

The scarcity of water is the main problem for the inhabitants of the Guajira. Due to the prevailing drought, it is difficult to subject the land to any farming. There are two rainy seasons, the first one takes place between September and December, and it is called Juyapu. The second one is Iwa, and it is shorter, from April to May.


Dunas del Cabo de la Vela 

And this is me, Silvia, enjoying this little piece of my lovely Guajira in Colombia, in the dry but beautiful desert, where the sea meets the sky; God put in my heart so many dreams since childhood. One of this is "Silvia Ardila Love by Grace" .. See you in the next article... And you will know about this

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