Taita Misak explicando el proceso de alfarería. ©

British Council

The process of recovering traditional crafts results from a research process that considers the knowledge of crafts as a part of the intellectual heritage, in need to be protected and passed on to younger generations.

Practical workshops are being organized on weaving hemp backpacks with ram wool threads, and on woodcarving to produce objects such as spoons, stools and looms.

Expert Profiles

Each member of the Misak people possesses their own knowledge, acquired through oral transmission from their elders (grandparents) or parents. It is therefore very important for Misaks to accompany younger generations, as they will become the future Misak people.

Strength identification process and improvement of Misak crafts. ©

British Council

Mamas Misak extracting sheep wool. ©

British Council

Mama Misak extracting fique fibre for the elaboration of the jigra (traditional cargo bag). ©

British Council

Weaving process by traditional loom. ©

British Council

Taita Misak explaining to the new generations the importance of wood carving. ©

British Council

Taita Jesús Tombé Tombé

Born on the 9th of August, 1956 in Vereda El Pueblito. Son of Taita Segundo Tombé Pillimué and Mama Asunción Tombé Hurtado. He studied up to the 3rd grade in Vereda El Pueblito. He has 30 years of woodcarving experience. He is an especially skillful maker of panko stools. His dream is to teach and pass on his knowledge to younger generations so that it doesn’t get lost and panko stools keep being used by families.

Taita Luis Felipe Calambás

Born on January 16th, 1965, in Vereda Tranal. Son of Taita Anselmo Calambás and Mama María Joaquina Calambás. His devotion to ceramics started in 2002 when he participated in an initiative to recover and promote pottery and ceramics. His dream is that all families use traditional clay pots and that there is a trade for such products that provides employment for the Misak youths.

Mama Cayetana Tombé Morales

Born in 1939, in Vereda la Campana. She is 80 years old, and from an early age, she has devoted herself to weaving. She is fulfilled by mastering all the jobs of the Misak woman, especially the processing of ram’s wool. Her dream is to pass her knowledge on to others, especially to young women, giving them a sense of belonging and of the importance of playing women’s role in Misak society.

María Jesús Tombé Velasco

Born on July 25th, 1970, in Kisgó. She is 52 years old, and the daughter of Manuel Jesús Tombé Velasco and Juana Velasco. Married to Julio Almendra Tunubalá. From the age of ten, she weaves pita cord jigras (bags). Later she learnt to extract hemp from the plant, saving on the cost of raw materials. Her dream is to pass on her knowledge to young women.

Jesús Antonio Tumiña Tunubalá

Born on March 12th, 1973, in Vereda Michambe. He began his studies at 4 and concluded them when he was 17. At the age of 22, he formed a family with Nidia Esperanza Muelas, mother of his two children. The income to support his family comes from his work as a carver of, among other types of wood, rustic wood. His dream is to pass his skill on to younger generations so that they can have their own jobs.

Taita Julio Almendra

Born May 17th, 1949

70 years old, he is married to María Jesús and lives in the Kisgó Reserve. He has a good knowledge of clay and the history of ancestral pots in his territory. His dream is to pass his knowledge on to youths interested in making pottery and caring for mother earth.

Miriam Patricia Velasco Almendra

Born May 5th, 1982, in Vereda de la Campana, daughter of Misael Velasco and Juliana Almendra. She is a mother of two and she is the head of the household. She started woodcarving in 2015 and provided the community with different objects that showcased her art. She specializes in traditional toys.

Mama Clemencia Tunbalá Pechene

Born on December 25th, 1956, the daughter of Vicente Tunubalá and María Luisa Pechene, she received two years of primary education. She is an expert in ancestral textiles for jigras (bags) of different sizes, using different techniques. Her dream is to share her knowledge with younger generations.