Blackpottery and More only imports products that are 100% handmade by traditional/indigenous communities. We would like to share a little bit about the makers of these magnificent objects:
It is believed that the tradition of the black pottery ceramics date from over 300 years ago. Pieces of pottery were discovered from that time in the valley of the Magdalena River in Colombia, where the Pijao indigenous group used to live. They used the ceramic pieces for ceremonial as well as functional uses and they also elaborated on other types of containers to store and transport water, corn, toast cacao and to prepare food.
The ceramics that are made today maintain the same characteristics as the functional ceramics made by the indigenous people back then. The shapes and the techniques remained from that time, but the symbolic elements that once decorated the ceramics have now disappeared.
Colombia has about 102 indigenous communities. According to the latest census, there are almost 2 million indigenous people in Colombia, that’s about 4,4% of the total population. The Maku-Nukak from the Colombian Amazon is one of the last tribes to have made contact with the outside world. They are hunter-gatherers and depend on their territory to find food, to keep their culture alive, and to elaborate on their beautiful products. They are the last nomadic tribe in Colombia and are one of at least 32 tribes in Colombia believed to be at ‘imminent risk of extinction’, according to the country’s national indigenous peoples’ organisation, ONIC. Their greatest struggle is to try to defend their shrinking territory from armed groups and looters.
The baskets that they make are made from yare-liana and are meant to last a lifetime. They are traditionally used to transport food, personal objects and to exchange with other indigenous groups in the area.
In Venezuela, there are about 51 indigenous groups, which conform about 2,8% of the total population (725.000 indigenous people approximately). The Yekuana live in the states of Amazonas and Bolivar near the Brazilian border and are known worldwide for their elaborate basket weaving. This indigenous group remained isolated until about 1960 until the Venezuelan government introduced projects to ‘develop’ that area. Nowadays there are about 330 Yekuanas left and they still maintain their traditions alive. The women weave their baskets to exchange with other tribes in the region and to sell to non-indigenous people. These beautiful baskets are both flexible and resistant and use only organic materials to create different colors.