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Wiwa Tribe, Colombia

Wiwa Tribe, Colombia

He appears out of the jungle like an apparition—a man from the Wiwa tribe, one of four indigenous groups who call the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains home. In his traditional outfit—white cotton shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and two colorful mochillas strung across one shoulder—he stands out against the dense foliage of ferns and wax palms..." Excerpt from Article, Discovering Colombia's Lost City by Candace Rardon. National Geographic.

The pre-Colombian city was built around 800 A.D., making it some 650 years older than its Inca Empire counterpart, Machu Picchu, in Peru.

For the Wiwas - or "warm land people" - the ancestral territory is sacred. In it is born the Law of Origin, which is the rule of man's behavior with the natural environment, which allows harmony between good and evilspiritual and earthly, is what governs daily life and community life, which guides the social and spiritual sanctions. 

The teaching of their traditions is provided by the MamoHe is the most important spiritual leader in the community and his wife is the SagaBoth are the spiritual and social guide of the community, as well as organizing and maintaining balance and order.

For the four ethnic groups that live well in the Sierra, one activity stands out exclusively for women: backpack weaving. From an early age, girls start this work accompanied by their mother or sisters. The backpacks divulge, through their designs, the elements that represent their world and in each point of the fabric they spin the daily life. So, when you weave a backpack, you give meaning to existence.

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