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Viva Wyu Art

- We, You and Them -

Our story reads as a modern fairytale and starts as a young couple, the woman heavily pregnant, take a short holiday to Cabo de la Vela in the province of la Guajira. The native Colombian had never been to the nothern part of her country and neither had her European husband, so they took the opportunity to fulfill her dream by way of a late wedding present and got underway. The pair hired a car, passing a park full of flamengo’s which left an unforgettable impression and entered an increasingly empty and inhospitable region. The father-to-be pressed down the accelarator  to reach the city before dark. All of a sudden the car stopped and refused to start again. On top of that they had no telephone signal so the soon-to-be-trio were stuck in the middle of nowhere.

The rapidly approaching darkness filled them with dread until some curious children came out of the undergrowth; Wayuu children who only spoke their native language, beckoned the foreigners to follow them. An hour walk brought them alongside a path marked by colorful ribbons functioning as signposts for the Indian goatherders. The cheerful kids introduced the guests to their parents on the Rancheria Japararo, an absolute rarity! The closed community of the Wayuu very seldom allowed people onto their territory, but their hospitality was impeccable.

Guided by Victoria, the only member of the tribe who spoke some Spanish, the squaws took the lifebearing beauty under their wing, while the men of the tribe took care of the husband. After a good meal they did some sightseeing and the couple fell in love at once with the mochilas, overwhelmed by their challenging colorful glory; as a signpost in a lost world that could be found again. A lot of signlanguage, coupled with Victoria’s knowledge of Spanish, brought the legend of Wale Kern to their attention for the first time and consisted of the same kind of elements we know from Cinderella or Rumpelstiltskin.

A pact originated between the proud tribe and the love couple just before the night fell. The next morning the children excitedly  told them that the police had been spotted near their car. In fact they had already been reported as missing and upon meeting the ‘Guardia Civil’ were severely reprimanded for entering the Indians Territory on their own with all the risks it involved. Our couple was surprised that the police considered their guardian angels phantoms and outlaws.. Man, woman and unborn child were stunned by so much inappropriate fuss about people they experienced as warm and all too human. After the Euro-Indian cooled down the representatives of the law, they disappeared with their heads shaking. Whilst waiting for a new car he played some soccer with the ambitious children and said goodbye while promising to be back as soon as possible. They would return in three days to pick up Victoria before heading for Uribia, capitol of la Guajira, where the woman had an appartment. Usually she walked that road of sixty miles in unbearable heat.

After wonderful days at Cabo de la Vela they went back to the agreed spot, but half an hour too late. According to western principles they asked themselves if she was gone already, still they decided to wait another hour. And yes, the silhouette of the impressive woman appeared on the horizon; a smile on their face!

On meeting Victoria the idea arose to do something in return for the little community of the Wayuu people, which finally resulted in trading their precious art.

It seemed to be a trip with a mission, just before parenthood came by with a beautiful baby. Like the Wayuu children the European-Latino girl will go to sleep after hearing the story of the wonder-weaving Wale Kern.The young family behind Mochilaz assimilates via Wyu-Art the diverged culture of their new friends, who’s welfare they made their own.

Viva la Mochila!