In Colombia, Along the Coastal Pacific Basin of Choco and surrounding lands that encompass Risaralda located in the western central region of the country and part of the Paisa region lives the fascinating Indigenous community Embera chamí (Embera = People, Chamí = Mountains), they are one of the largest native groups in existence within the country who still speak their traditional dialect and practice their ancestral expressions of spirituality actively.
Despite the conflictive situation they must face as product of political affairs in the country the Embera Chamí people have proven to be an extremely resilient community who continuously adapt to their surroundings to ensure the survival and preservation of its people.
A large portion that contributes to their main survival is based in creation of intrinsicate jewelry, a traditional beading technique & skill passed to them generation to generation. The Embera people showcase their art in physical form with miniature glass beads. They elaborate gorgeous pieces using geometrical patterns that display dream visions and reflect their ancestral beliefs of connection to their mother “Earth”, the symbolism and meaning each individual piece portrays also conveys a message regarding the emotional state of the Native artisan such as bliss, joy, healing, using the different colors as if “painting” with each weave of the thread and beads.
This traditional jewelry not only adorns the body but also is belied to enhance the spiritual protection of the wearer, such as necklaces named “Okamas” traditionally weaved for women typically with circular geometrical shapes and “Otapas” for the man incorporating an array of straight lines are worn during their ceremonial practices and serve the individual as an amulet to navigate their spiritual realms granting them the ability to amplify communication with the spirits of the universe and their cosmic deities.
Each individual piece is unique, varying in shape, patters and colors, carrying the energetic imprint of the ancestors who have come before us and is Hand by Craft’s effort to create an open channel to maintain alive the craft and act as a portal that can link the Ancestral Tradition of the Embera Chamí showcasing with pride the crafts of our forbearers.
Width: 3.5in / 9cm aprox
Diameter: 11in / 28cm aprox
Length: 7in / 18cm aprox
Weight: 90gr aprox; per unit
Hand crafted product. Measurements may vary*