Never did I dream
of writing this book. I was just fascinated with the colours, the
patterns and the complexity of the techniques used in the weavings
of the Wayuu people. After struggling for a while with the specimens
I had it became apparent that it was going to be impossible for
me to discover and analyse the intricacies of this weave on my
own. So I went to the Guajira Peninsula and spent time with the
artisan families. Then the weavings really got to my imagination
and touched me to the core. My appreciation of these textiles grew
as I studied them.
During the trips I collected bags full of weavings and other handwork.
To get an overview of the collection I started to make a catalogue
with detailed analysis of the patterns, techniques, colours and materials.
under the impression that it would result in a nicely finished
project. But all the folders with analysis together did not show
what fascinated me so much.
I considered that the Wayuu had collected all this knowledge over
many generations and that now they were loosing it, slowly but surely.
The manner of dress changes and the modern times have a negative
influence on the rhythm of life in which traditionally handwork had
a large place. I wanted to make a contribution towards the safeguarding
of this specific weaving tradition. That was when the plan for this
book was born. It was going to be a gift to the Wayuu as a token
of my appreciation for their work and a thank you for sharing their
knowledge with me.
Making a book is expensive
and the information is so valuable that others should also be able
to share in it. Anthropologists, artists and handweavers should
be able to find information and inspiration in it. The choice for
publishing in three languages in three columns next to one another
do with the large amount of photographs and illustrations and with
the expected small and specialised audience. Slowly the book started
taking shape; technical background in a context that paints a picture
of daily life, traditions and customs of the Wayuu. A catalogue
of encountered shapes is of importance to the Wayuu. Step by step
instructions will help the hand weaver. Maybe in the future even
a Wayuu could use the information.