Indian language * American Indian culture * Indian heritage

Mochila Bags (Bolsos Mochilas)

"Mochila" (pronounced moh-chee-lah) is the South American name of a type of indigenous Colombian craft, which is a finely woven satchel of plant fiber and wool. Mochila bags are traditional art forms which are still produced today in Colombian tribes, especially the Ika (or Arhuaco) tribe and the Wayuu (or Guajiro) tribe. However, the name "mochila" is not an indigenous word--it comes from an old-fashioned Spanish word for messenger, mochil. The Wayuu word for a mochila bag is susu, and in Ika it is tutu. The geometric patterns and designs on each bag are specific to the community the artist belongs to.

Here are links to three websites selling mochila bags by contemporary Wayuu and Arhuaco artists:

 Wayuu Market
 Colombian Mochila Bags
 Bolsos Colombianos Wayuurs

Here are links to more resources about mochilas and the indigenous people who weave them:

 History in Threads: Exploring Wayúu Mochilas
 Arhuaca Mochila
 Wayuu tribe
 Ika tribe
 Indigenous cultures of Colombia

And here are a few good books about mochilas:

 Colourful Wayuu Bags to Crochet
 Pueblo Iku: Science, Nature and Art of the Arhuaco

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