Arhuaco Bag – Grid: A Sacred Symbol of Creation and Indigenous Art
The Arhuaco Bag, also known as Mochila Arhuaca or Tutu Iku, is a handcrafted artisan bag made by the Arhuaco women from the Sierra Nevada region of Colombia. It is a symbol of the creation of all life and is knitted as a sacred activity to honor the earth and all its inhabitants.
Creation of Life
The Arhuaco people consider the Mochila to be a representation of the uterus of the Universal Mother. The bag is intricately knitted with indigenous drawings and objects from their cosmology, representing the balance of the universe. For the Arhuaco women, the Mochila is a ceremonial work that gives back to the earth what is taken from it. They believe that knitting the bag is a way of honoring all life on earth.
The Arhuaco Bag is made from locally-sourced sheep wool. The wool is washed and dried in the sun, then wound on a spindle before being knitted with a needle. The task of knitting the Mochila is assigned exclusively to women, and it is a practice passed down from generation to generation. Young girls as young as four years old are taught the practice by their grandmothers.
- Handcrafted by Arhuaco women from the Sierra Nevada region of Colombia
- Made from locally-sourced sheep wool
- Features intricate indigenous drawings and objects from the Arhuaco cosmology
- Symbolic representation of the creation of all life
- Supports the indigenous people of South America
The Arhuaco people refer to themselves as “the older brothers” and believe they have mystical wisdom and understanding that surpasses that of outsiders. They believe it is their responsibility to maintain the balance of the universe and make offerings to sacred sites to give back to the earth what is taken from it. They view outsiders as “the younger brothers.”
- For more information about the people of the Sierra Nevada and to support their cause, please visit this website. Survival is a global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, helping them defend their lives, protect their lands, and determine their own futures.
- A scientific study analyzing the cognitive, social, and emotional processes involved in the practice of weaving traditional bags, including the Mochila, can be found here.
Purchase an Arhuaco Bag – Grid today and own a piece of sacred art that represents the creation of all life while supporting the indigenous people of South America. Visit Wisdom of Plants Institute to make your purchase.