The Story about Fique Bags

fique bags tribu jaguar colombia natural vegetal fibers

Introduction

Peasant women of Curiti, Santander dreamed of giving their families a better future, through their artisan products made by hand.

These hard-working women for years were dedicated to the production of sacks of Fique (agave fiber) and over time they began to weave bags, shape them and paint them with anilines and natural dyes. Now, they join their knowledge and support each other to be able to make a brand that reaches all parts of the world.

The beggining

The peasant women of Curití, vereda el Arenal in the department of Santander, decided one day to do something different with everything they had learned about making sacks of Fique, and thus began to manufacture new products with them.

The traditional sacks, years ago an important source of income for families, had stopped showing their yields.

The traditional use of the maguey stalk (fique) was no longer a reliable business from which they could live, and the crisis seemed to increasingly darken the picture.

Then there arose, flashing like a light in the midst of this dark need, an initiative led by the noble and wise peasant women.

The idea

Its purpose was to start a business, an enterprise of mothers who were heads of peasant families that would allow them to put into practice what they learned during years and years of work, without neglecting this beautiful tradition, rather integrating and mixing it with a new style, different from the custom in those places, with which to show Colombia and the world that they were there, present and proud, heirs of a tradition that doesn’t die or fade.

Little by little they began to meet up on weekends and in the afternoons, in their spare time, in the few hours that remained, only after finishing their many daily occupations, after dedicating themselves to the land, to the crops, to the children and chores.

Knitting went from being almost an obligation to becoming an inspiration and a beautiful dream in common.

Free from vanities, selfishness and pretensions, with the joy, tranquility and natural goodness of mothers, with the simplicity and dedication of the noble peasants who have cared for and worked the land and know how to wait on it, this group of women began to exchange their knowledge, their experiences, their mistakes, their ideas, trying and weaving little by little, one strand at a time.

These meetings between friends and “comadres”, between expert midwives and young apprentices, became an experiment, a workshop, a school and a laboratory.

As if they were alchemists, they began to mix ingredients, dyes, anilines and natural colorants in search of new shades, to try new techniques, to paint and dye, to cut, to change stitches, to forge designs and sizes.

All this without losing joy, laughing wildly between jokes, exchanging stories, recipes or advice, and talking about the usual news of the town.

The result

Like their products, after a long time of dedication and effort, things have taken a certain shape. They are still driven by the humble desire, present in their hands and in their hearts, to transmit, to teach, to create, to be recognized and appreciated for what they do, but above all, the desire to be able to offer their families the best of themselves.

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