The word "wayuu» means person or people. The Wayuu indigenous people were one of the first settlers of La Guajira, north of Colombia, and its presence has been recorded since the year 150 a. c.
This ancient ethnic group is characterized by its resistance to conquests and invaders of the territory. Until in 1810 they lost their independence and became part of that nation. For this reason and Because they are the largest tribe in Colombia, they are protected by the Government "to guarantee the protection of ancestral territories, invest in their economic development and protect their cultural identity and civil rights"
In the following sections we explain how the organization of this wayuu culture works. But it is not the only thing that is different from the Colombian, since they retain their own language, religion and customs.
WAYUU SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
The Wayuu community presents a social structure of character matrilineal, divided by territories and clans grouped into ranches.
ROLE OF WAYUU WOMEN
- It is the highest authority: the social organization is in charge of the maternal family and especially of the women.
- Is an independent person: creates their own economy thanks to her skills with wayuu weaving and ceramics. Besides, assumes that true relatives are children and relatives by maternal line. For this reason, the children acquire only the maternal surname.
- She is a trainer: the wayuu customs are only taught through the woman.
- She is a spiritual expert: remember, write and interpret dreams. They are the way of communicating with their ancestors and listen to the subconscious.
- She is an expert in natural medicine: they are women who love take care of the divinity of the body, the spirit and the mind.
ROLE OF THE WAYUU MAN
- The Wayuu indigenous people are in charge of daily activities such as grazing, hunting and maintaining the crop.
- In the Wayuu ethnic group polygamy is allowedAs long as the man can sustain these activities for all the families.
- wayuu men make their own sandals and hats To protect yourself from the sun on long hunting days.
HOUSING OF THE WAYUU
Wayuu houses are called rancherías and are built with materials such as sheets of palm, vegetable fibers and yotojolo (typical cactus of the Guajira). It seems that if the wolf of the three little pigs came he would take everything, right? Well no, they are houses with some very strong foundations that resist everything.
Houses They are open allowing the air current to enter. and are composed of a wood stove, a bathroom and a common area. They live there most of the time, in this place they hang their hammocks or hammocks to rest and sleep.
the scene of a sunset swinging in a hammock, feeling the breeze and the smell of roasted goat It is one of the most relaxing and beautiful things you can experience.
WAYUU TERRITORIAL DIVISION
the wayuu community divides the territory of La Guajira by characteristics of the land and each element has a meaning. It is different from the state, which divides the Guajiro territory into three parts (Alta, Media and Baja Guajira). In this image we show you the state division vs the wayuu division.
DIVISION OF CASTES AND CLANS
Once the territory is divided, the Wayuu are grouped into castes or lineages. In total they present 30 clans represented with their own totemic animal. Saying The totem defines your history and who your ancestors were.
Here we show you some meanings of its animal symbology:
We invite you to learn much more about this Wayuu culture and its creations.