Traditional woolen bags made by the Arhuaco women of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Colombia. Visit our online shop to get yours.
The mochila forms an important part of the Arhuaco culture and is used in their every day life. It is used by both men and women but only women are thought to make them. As part of the initiation, the Arhuaco girl has to bring her first stitches to the Mamo (a spiritual leader in the Arhuaco culture) and he blesses her to become a good mochila maker and to pass down the 'art of knitting' to future generations. When a man and a woman have decided to get together, she knits two mochilas, one for her and one for her partner, as symbol of love. Each stitch of the mochila symbolizes the thought and the everyday actions of a woman. She earns great pride and respect by presenting her finished mochilas as it represents a sign of maturity.