The Ancient Weaving School
The Kamentsa community of the Sibundoy Valley can be understood as a dual realm comprising the spiritual and material planes. Our art represents the interconnectedness between the internal life of this community and the natural world, where the visible and the invisible converge, bridged by the imaginary axis through which symbols and signs manifest.
Weaving is akin to crafting 'wholeness,' meticulously represented in every stitch—an intricate blend of design and fabric that captures both the tangible and intangible realms. This artistry is fueled by profound awareness, rooted in the perception of imagery drawn from the natural world, including animals, trees, and more, woven into a narrative.
The traditional fabric of Kamentsa indigenous culture weaves together a rich tapestry of history, visions, and worldviews. Its ancestral legacy encompasses the nuances of daily life, mental and spiritual concepts, life's milestones, celestial observations, spiritual elements, and festive traditions.
Within these textiles and their intricate motifs lies the expression of Kamentsa's identity, culture, and epistemic framework. Their contents illuminate how the Kamentsa people perceive their existence within the context of their environment. In the process of crafting these fabrics, they diligently uphold ancestral techniques inherited from the Andean heritage while also incorporating tools and materials that have evolved influenced by the colonial era.
Through this proposal, OICO aims to support knowledge transfer from wise elders to future generations, ensuring that this magnificent art endures over time.
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 existence in the world, their aesthetics, and 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 for the indigenous community, and their struggle and resistance have 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.
Cognizant of the significance of preserving our Kamentsa ancestral waving, this project endeavors to collaborate with the Kamentsa council in continuing this education. This institution will serve as a hub for imparting the art of ancestral weaving and fostering the marketing of these cherished products through the OICO marketplace.