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The Ancient Weaving

Training, rescue and community strengthening project in the ancestral techniques of wool weaving, for the elaboration of traditional products of cultural identity and diversification of the supply of products as a contribution to the economic strengthening of the Kamentsa Biyan indigenous community of the municipality of Sibundoy, Putumayo , Colombia.

Artesania Tejida Kamentsa.jpg

The Kamentsa community of the Sibundoy Valley can be conceived as a world divided into two planes, the spiritual plane and the material plane, it is the internal life of this community in relation to nature, with the visible and the invisible whose mediator is the imaginary axis from which symbols and signs come.

Weaving is comparable to "a whole" represented in each stitch, a work (design), in a fabric that shows the existence in the real and imaginary plane, motivated by awareness, the perception of images and the natural world, the animals, trees, etc. represented by a plot.

The traditional fabric in the Kamentsa indigenous culture is full of history, visions and worldview, its ancestral legacy speaks of daily life, mental and spiritual notions, moments of life, astronomy, spiritual elements and festivals.

The fabric and its figures are the expression of the identity, culture and epistemic system of the Kamentsa world, and its content shows the way in which the Kamentsa people understand their own existence in relation to their environment, in the elaboration of the fabric they maintain the ancestral techniques inherited from the Andean world, although tools or materials or other materials have been added throughout the colonial process.

The products that are made, among others, are the Chumbes, Sayos and Mochilas or Cestas, which are articles and garments that, more than products, are a sophisticated form of meaning that accounts for the vast knowledge of the Kamentsa people, which gives it the characteristics of an artifact. cultural and ancestral that is distinguishable. In the fabric, the Kamenta capture and transmit a particular and complex way of interpreting their relationship with nature and the events of their own existence in the world, their aesthetics, as well as their intellectual and emotional knowledge, that is, their worldview.
This history, techniques and worldview are being lost over time since few women and men keep the instruction of traditional weaving, its ancestral techniques, designs, figures and their meaning.

The colonization in this area of ​​Colombia had great consequences in the indigenous community and their struggle and resistance has been focused on the continuity of their cultural and productive traditions, among them the artisan fabric that this project exposes as an important pillar in the permanence of the social, cultural and economic customs of the Kamentsa indigenous people and artisanal decolonization, through the search for empowerment and autonomy.


The vision of the Shanayoy organization is to support our Kamëntšá Biyá community in all aspects of the social, educational, and health chain,  so we can flourish.

Under the leadership of the three-time governor of the Kamentsa people, Taita Juan, and his family, our organization seeks to support community projects to strengthen the culture, art, and ancestral medicines of our Kamëntšá Biyá indigenous territory.

If you are interest in learning and support the projects, we can send you the full project, timeline and budget.

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Thanks for your Support!!
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