A collection of handwoven Colombian sun hats. We are excited to share the process, technique, and craftsmanship behind each individual hat. We work with artisans who share a common vision of sustainability, accountability, and transparency. With each purchase, you are allowing the Wayuu to continue building their autochthonous culture and benefiting many families across the desert along the way.
This collection is distinguished by the high circular crown and geometric shapes that are woven into each crown and brim. One hat takes approximately eight hours to weave and is made with a single diagonal weaving technique that makes the hats remarkably strong and hard wearing.
ABOUT MAWISA STRAW
Makuira, according to the inhabitants that live around, is a sacred place. Our artisans harvest the straw from an indigenous palm in this region.
The level of detail found in this weave is often confused as a pattern woven by a machine, but this precision is achieved by hand because of these artisan's skill, agility, manual dexterity, dedication, and love of the craft.
The technique used in hat making is commonly called the "twill" technique or diagonally woven with flat threads or straw strips from isii or mawisa. This palm is transformed into flat strands that are woven with extraordinary detail.
ABOUT THE WAYUU
The Wayuu, known as the people of sun, sand, and wind, are the largest indigenous ethnic group in Northern Colombia and Northwest of Venezuela. The region they live in, La Guajira, although breathtaking with the juxtaposition of the desert sand with the blue ocean water, has been deeply affected by a major drought.
The Wayuu live in small settlements where they preserve the traditional language, culture and customs passed down from generation to generation. A vital aspect of the Wayuu way of life is the art of weaving. Weaving is a symbol of wisdom, intelligence, and creativity.
By weaving these hats, the Wayuu people can earn an income for their family while simultaneously sharing their culture and traditions with those who are lucky enough to come upon one. Each hat takes approximately 8 to 10 hours to complete; it is a true labor of love. The patterns and colors tell a story which makes each hat one-of-a-kind and as unique as the weaver who made it.