These unique products were originally made by the Chimila, an indigenous group that was subjugated by the Spanish invasion in the 1700s. During this period, they lost much of their territory, but their ancestral practices such as loom weaving continued.
They used the estera palm, a palm native to the Caribbean coast of Colombia, and natural dyeing techniques to create beautiful mats.
These ancient practices were passed down from mother to daughter and have evolved with each generation’s creativity. They still use the palm as well as a variety of plant-based materials to colour the products, including seeds, leaves and tree bark, creating a gorgeous earthy feel.
Inspiration is drawn from the natural world and the local livelihoods that it supports. For example, designs based on waves and fishing nets allude to the enduring importance of fishing to the local economy.
Depending on size, each wall hanging can take between 4 and 6 days to make, plus the time to process the palm leaf and the natural dyes.