Relevance of Mochila in today’s world

The world is undoubtedly evolving. Unconsciously, we are all changing or are a medium of change ourselves. Having said that, there are still certain pockets of the world where globalization and consumerism has yet to spread its tentacles. These pockets have still retained the purity of their tradition and preserved their ancestral art and culture.

One such pocket is the Guajira Peninsula where the Wayuu tribe follows its ancient practices and rituals. The people of this tribe are self-sufficient. They follow their routine as their ancestors did a few centuries ago. The men folk work but the women of this tribe hold the reins of the house. The tribe is matrilineal by nature.

As rightly pointed out by Sociologists, the matrilineal tribes of the world are the only tribes that have till date been able to preserve the sanctity of their religion and culture. That may be because the women as the in charge of the home and hearth can control the family better.

While all the Wayuu rituals give extreme importance to their women, they are not at all complacent. In contrast, they are even more hard working than their husbands. Apart from knowing the art of sewing and cooking, the women of this tribe are traditionally endowed with the knowledge of weaving. The bags that they weave are a combination of crocheting, hand braiding and weaving. There are several variations of the Colombian Mochila Wayuu but the one that is most popular is the Cabo Mochila, a shoulder bag with draw strings and long shoulder straps.

Mechanization in manufacturing has left a void in creativity. The production of bags and satchels that all look like they have come from an assembly line, don’t give much room to add drama to an outfit. While a Mochila bag that is handmade has many stories to tell.

The features of Mochila Wayuu has now caught the attention of fashion houses and dedicated trade fairs that are doing their bit to reach the art to wider audience. The patronage received by the bag is overwhelming. Owning an original Mochila Wayuu is now a status symbol as their creators are getting fewer and the demand is getting feverishly higher.