Sunday, August 23, 2009

colombian artisans

I knew going to Colombia that I would buy tons of things. And that's just what happened! There are so many amazing artisan-made crafts. My husband had already brought some things home from previous trips to Colombia and I had the earrings above, made from coconuts, that a Colombian friend had brought me. Let's see some other things that I brought back with me. There are coconut bangles, a bracelet made with wooden beads and a shell necklace that I bought from a girl on the beach in Taganga.

The thing I loved about this necklace is that from a distance it looks pretty banal, but up close you can see that it's actually strung from gazillions of tiny shells.

These keychains and jewelry look like they're made out of plastic, right? When you hold them, though, they're heavy and feel more like rock. But actually they're a type of very hard seed called tagua, which is cut and colored. I just love tagua and had to try really hard to restrain myself from buying everything in sight made from the stuff.

August 8th is not only our daughter's birthday, but also our anniversary, celebrated this year in Bogotà and Villa de Leyva. My husband gave me this typical type of Colombian filigree jewelry. Normally these things are made from gold, but he knows I don't wear gold and got me silver instead.
Enough with jewelry. There are also all different types of traditional handmade bags in Colombia. This one is called a mochila and it's made out of wool by the indiginous tribes. You see Colombians all over the place with this type of bag. I should have taken a picture of the bag being worn because it's really very cool looking in use.

Another thing which I already knew of and loved is the mola. Once again, handmade by indiginous people, las molas are pictures and shapes made from sewn and embroidered layered cloth of all different colors. Usually you buy them already applied on something, such as a t-shirt, a pillow, a belt (like the one I bought), all types of shoes (which I really wanted to buy buy knew how sad I'd be when they eventually got horridly dirty), etc. But you can also buy them loose so you can apply them yourself or even frame and hang up as I did with the two molas that we already had in the house. These pears seemed very funny and different from what you normally see, but I still don't know what I'm going to do with them....

A detail of the pear mola.

There are so many other incredible things made in Colombia and I'm sorry that I'm not writing about the hats, ruanas, "ceramics" made out of mud, baskets, not to mention the fabulously delicious things to eat, the unimaginable places or the nice people. Colombia is an amazing place and I certainly won't be forgetting this experience any time soon!

3 comments:

Katie said...

I'm so glad you had a great time and that you were able to find all these cool things!! Welcome back, happy anniversary to you and your husband, and happy birthday to Sofia!!

Lisa said...

Thanks, thanks and more thanks!

Karin said...

Welcome home! Your finds are amazing!!! So beautiful.