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«ALLE GESCHICHTEN DIE ZUM LESEN EINLADEN UND GELESEN WERDEN SOLLEN»
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WEAR & CARE

08.03.2019

«I motivate people to revive it by continuing to do our activities and crafts, so that we don’t lose our identity as Wayuu.»

Wayuu woman on the rise

Idairis from the Wayuu clan Sapuana in Venezuela improves the world by reaching out to her people, to those who want to work on their art, crafts, and designs, so that their traditions and heritage won’t get lost in time. They’re great artisans but the only jobs they can find in the cities, is as maid. Therefore, by going to the city, they loose their culture. Engaging these women in Mama Tierra’s projects will feed their families and also help them to pass on their culture to future generations. Idairis confides to us how she tries to pursuit her own and her people’s happiness every day.

Idairis Sapuana

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
My desire was to become a good and honest person. It is important to me to serve and help others.

How did you get to Mama Tierra? What did you do before?
In 2016, I got to Mama Tierra while searching for a job as an artisan. In mid 2017, I started working as a coordinator, which I still do to this day. Before working with Mama Tierra, I used to weave but I had to pay for my own yarn. With the little I had left after buying the basics for our food, I bought some yarn to make bags. I sold them with a lot of difficulties because sometimes, the people were slow in paying but mostly, they wanted to pay me only a very cheap price. Often, I only sold enough to buy more yarn and elaborate another bag – in the hope of selling it at a better price the next time.

What is your day like? Roughly described...
I do all the daily household chores at sunrise, like cooking breakfast for my big family. I live at my mother’s territory with my husband and my four-year-old boy and my other 13 siblings. There is a lot to do all the time. Later during the day, I weave – which is my great way to live my life.

What do you love about your work?
I like to design very much. It makes me think, analyze, observe, and then, I put my imagination into action. I need to project the pattern into a bag for example; this needs a lot of math but also creativity and collaborating with Lourdes, my colleague who lives in Canada, is exiting. I like the collaboration with Alijuna (essentially means «the one who damages»; western people) because of the better life we have now.

Which challenges do you encounter and how?
To be happy is a challenge. I live happily, doing my job well, and like to share it with others, by inviting them to do the crafts with us.

What is your first thought in the morning, after getting up?
To make our daily bread, so that I can dedicate myself to weaving later. Weaving is my life and passion.

What do you say when someone asks you in the evening, what you did all day?
Weave. That is the only word that comes out of my mouth! Like the spider Aleker, the first that knew how to weave. She taught us Wayuu to do so.

What do you think about work-life-balance?
I work from home and take care of my home, this is a great opportunity. I can weave and be part of Mama Tierra’s NGO, and at the same time cover more than enough of our basic livelihood!

Clutch

Tasche, Watamalu Wayuu

How do you improve the world?
I improve the world by reaching out to my people, to those who want to work on our crafts and art, so that our traditions and heritage won’t get lost in time. We are great artisans but there are only jobs as maid in the city, and by going to the city we loose our culture. Wayuu people will always be subordinated to western people and never be free but engaging our women in this work is good because that way, they can feed their families and don’t need to suffer from hunger.

How or what would you change if you could?
Our culture is disappearing. I motivate people to revive it by continuing to do our activities and crafts, so that we don’t lose our identity as Wayuu.

Where and what will you do in ten years?
Live and work with and for Mama Tierra to keep our legacy alive. Our identity as Wayuu must be passed on to future generations through our crafts. I want to learn more things at the Mama Tierra seminars like how to make soaps, how to handle solar energy, and so on and so forth.

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