Handmade Chaquira Bracelet handmade by the Kamentsa tribe of the Colombian Amazon. The design here is the Sun, Symbol of Energy and Giver of Life.
The Kamentsa are a deeply spiritual people, and still inhabit their ancestral territory of the Sibundoy Valley in what is known as Alto Putumayo, along the Western fringe of the Colombian Amazon. Approximately 7,000 members of the Kamensta tribe still exist, and they hold adamantly to their traditions, having fought off disease and violence brought by the Conquistadors in the 16th century, constant religious missions and forced interventions over the ensuing centuries, and continued violence and instability throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Above all else, respect for the “Pachamama,” or Mother-Earth, and all of her gifts, is of fundamental importance to the Kamentsa.
Shamanism and “Shamanic Visions” are a deep part of their beliefs and resulting symbolism, which is preserved through their celebrations, music, dances, traditional medicine, and artisan work. Shamans are known as Taitas in the Kamentsa’s native language, Kamsa, and the Taita’s visionary interpretations are projected into symbolism that represents the tribe’s unity with, and dependance upon, the natural world, and to their spiritual Worldviews, or “Cosmovision.”
The most fundamental symbols and beliefs of the Kamentsa are represented in their “Chaquira” beaded jewelry.