Seth and I spent most of this weekend shopping for holiday gifts for our friends and family members. We scoured the covered markets across from the Gold Museum in La Candelaria and the open air markets on top of the hill in Usaquén in search of authentic artisan souvenirs. I realize I am taking a slight risk by publishing this entry, but I am almost positive that the recipients of the following gifts do not subscribe to my blog. (Just to be safe, though, I will make this entry private shortly after hitting the “Publish” button.)
Seth had his heart set on buying two Colombian mochilas—one for himself and another for his brother Eliot. Arhuaco mochilas (pictured above) are natural, bucket-shaped bags hand made by the Arhuaco people of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Conversely, Wayuu mochilas are hand made by the Wayuu people of La Guajira Peninsula. Whereas the neutral-colored, sheeps’ wool mochilas of Arhuaco seem to be most often worn by men in Bogotá, the brightly-colored, cotton-based bags of Wayuu seem to be most frequently fashioned by women. Each of the latter type retails for about COP$80,000-100,000 (US$40-50) and is made by one woman over the span of about twenty days.
Besides the two mochilas, Seth and I also purchased a variety of jams, including five jars of maracuya (passionfruit), nueces (nuts), and brandy; four jars of arazá, cupuaçu, and cocona; and one jar of frutos y pétalos rojos (red forest fruits and flowers). The other gifts I cannot mention.
To end our busy and fruitful weekend of touching beautiful things and making difficult decisions, we sat down for a couple of macchiatos at LaTerra Café in Usaquén. Delicious! Our shopping hiatus continues over the next week as we plan and prepare our Thanksgiving feast.