Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Wayuu and Mochilla Bags in the Philippines

I first encountered the Mochilla bag from a low key blogger I follow. My attention was caught by the colorful knitted drawstring bag. In my mind, it might be a locally produced bag. I later discovered a local reseller and to my surprise, the bag originated all the way from Colombia. 




I searched further information about the bags and discovered a noble history. Wayuu is a tribe living within the borders of Colombia and Venezuela. They are an indigenous community, able to preserve their rich culture and tradition from the Spanish colonizers. Like any other agriculture dependent community, they have their own share of economic struggles. On top of agriculture, the women in the community are known to contribute by keeping alive their weaving tradition. The colorful, artistically designed and meticulously crochet bags are known as the Mochillas. The bags are sometimes called Wayuu Bags, Chilla, Wayuu Mochilla or Mochilla bags. At the end of the day, they are the same colorful drawstring bags tracing its history and tradition for hundreds of years. 

I initially found two Instagram resellers importing the bags to the Philippine market. Bagelyadora, sells via Instagram and local trade shows, Your Ideal Craft both sells in Instagram and their shopping site. It's more convenient to purchase via Your Ideal Craft because they have a site that accepts credit card payments. You also don't need to send inquiries and wait for instructions for purchase. Unlike Bagelyadora, you order online and pay via bank deposit or visit their trade shows for credit card payments. 

But given the conveience of Your Ideal Craft, I ended buying from Bagelyadora because of their selections. 


A drawstring bag retails for Php 3,500 excluding shipping fee 


I think they call this as the Pocahontas bag. I would love to own this style, except that each retails for Php 3,700. I ended with the usual drawstring bag. 





This was one of my final choices. 

My interest with the Mochilla bags intensified. I ended searching for other bag resellers. Most of them as expected, are based in US. 




If I'm not mistaken, Lombia + Co. offers the relatively cheapest deals for the large Mochilla bags. I'm not sure if same applies when taxes are applied upon checkout.






My heart!!!!! 



I love the small handle of their drawstring bags, distinct from bags sold by other resellers. 



They have wide selections and a number of styles on sale.

All of these resellers speak the noble language of social entrepreneurship. Apart from selling bags, they are instruments in uplifting the welfare of the Wayuu community. I also found some individual resellers via Etsy. But given the prices from these sites, I think it's still cheaper to acquire from our local resellers.

Meanwhile, here's the Mochilla Bag I got from Bagelyadora



I bought mine for Php 3,500 plus shipping fee.  I think I got my money's worth because the bag is 100% handcrafted. The craftsmanship is excellent. The bag feels sturdy and the entire woven fabric is thick. I didn't see any loose or lousy threads. I also love that the design of the straps were carefully and meticulously knitted.

I also appreciate that my chosen IG reseller was very prompt in responding to my inquiries. Shipping was also fast and seamless.

While I always prefer bags with long straps, I also wish to purchase the Pocahontas or the handbag style. :) I think for knitted bags, the handbag will also work for me. 

1 comment:

  1. It's beautiful, Diane! Sa unang tingin, kala ko locally made, from Colombia pala. :)

    ReplyDelete

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