Tulia's Artisan Gallery donates a portion of each purchase to cultural preservation projects for the Wounaan people of Colombia

Who are the Wounaan?

The Wounaan are the people indigenous to the rainforests of the Pacific coast of Colombia and Panama. In Colombia, about 9,000 are at risk of cultural extinction due to forced internal displacement. 

Forced to Leave Home

Wounaan live under constant threat by illegal armed groups still active in the Colombian Pacific coast. Colombia has the largest displacement situation in the world with nearly 8 million internally displaced citizens.  Indigenous and Afro-Colombians are disproportionally affected by this displacement.  Over a third of Colombia's indigenous groups are at risk of cultural extinction due to displacement and human rights abuses.

Master Artisans

Despite these challenges, the Wounaan are master artisans.  The men are expert wood carvers and the women are known for their basketry, recognized as among the most beautiful in the world. Their signature fiber is the new shoots of the Chunga Palm Tree.  When dry, the fiber has a brilliant & smooth shine.  They are the artisans behind our collections of woven jewelry, bangle bracelets, children's bracelets, palm seed rings, and home decor folk art.  

 

Tulia's Give Back Program

The best way to help Colombia's Wounaan is to buy their fair trade products. Fair Trade means the artisans have already been paid a fair living wage for their work. Additionally, Tulia’s Artisan Gallery gives back 5% of all sales (20% of folk art baskets) to the Maach Den Foundation in Bogota. A non-profit set-up by Wounaan internally displaced in Bogota. Their projects include artisan workshops, planting chunga palm trees, and preserving traditional medicines - especially in midwifery.