Rolled weaved basketry has its origins dating back to pre colonial times, this particular technique was developed by the indigenous people of the region. The Lache were an indigenous, agrarian community in the highlands of what is now central Colombia's northern Boyacá, they specialized in trade that included salt and textiles, as well as food. The Lache farmed corn, potatoes, quinoa and cotton, among other crops.
After the Catholic persecution exterminated their population the only surviving skill was their weaving, they taught the colonizers the technique and this was passed down generation by generation leaving to modern day a few hundred artisans in existence.
The Rolled Basketry has 2 main components “Fique” (variety plant of the agave family) and “Straw” which constitutes the “soul” or structure of the basket, the process consists of gathering the materials from the natural environment and processing the Fique until a malleable fiber is obtained. And through refinery the fiber is naturally colored and sorted from fine to coarse. The straw is then picked and sorted by length and flexibility, made into “bundles” to get ready for the Fique weaving in spiral motion with the help of a thick needle, which originally was a animal bone carved needle.
The popular stories attribute spiritual properties to this technique as the spiral motion and the geometrical weaving of the colored Fique is said to be used by the original natives as a form of meditation, beautifying and connecting symbolically with one’s Soul.
Rolled weaved basketry is now recognized by the country as a “product of origin” and has become the staple of Boyaca’s artisanal treasures, bringing pride to the 1700 habitants of Guacamayas and showcasing worldwide the Indigenous tradition that lives through time by each thread.
Every individual piece is unique, varying slightly in shape, patters and colors, carrying the energetic imprint of the ancestors who have come before us and have left this legacy. It is Hand by Craft’s effort to create an open channel to maintain the craft’s life by acting as a portal to link the Ancestral Tradition of the living Latch Tribe through the hands of a pueblo who carry in blood and spirit their legend.
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