Special Venezuelan Stamps / Philately Week (Aboriginal crafts - Venezuela)
This is perhaps one of the most moving topics I can write, a topic that makes my skin crawl and removes the deepest part of my ancestral feelings.
The history of our culture in the great Abya Yala, the original name of these lands before the arrival of the Spanish invaders, is richer than many imagine, and in spite of all the efforts of the Eurocentric current, our roots are intact.
The stamps of today correspond to the series of fabrics made by different Venezuelan ethnic groups, the fabrics are much more than a simple craft, behind its development is a cumulative cultural load, history, iconography, language, this compendium of elements is the product of hundreds of thousands of years of tradition that has been maintained until today even to survive the genocide committed by the Spanish invaders.
In Venezuela, the indigenous culture is very fragile due to what I have just mentioned. The Spanish genocide in all America is quantified in more than 300 million dead aborigines, that is why it is easier to identify cultural elements of the afro-descendants than of the aborigines themselves.
Although the baskets that appear printed on the stamps do not represent the total production of all the aboriginal ethnic groups that still live in various states of Venezuela, it serves to inform me in detail the use of some of these pieces.
Wapa panare and Yekuana
The wapa is a utensil used to sift the bitter yucca sliced to dry it a little before preparing the aboriginal bread of Venezuela called Casabe. Although the more than 30 ethnic groups of Venezuela almost all share the same ancestral knowledge and crafts.
It is a basket specially designed to collect fruits from planting as well as from the jungle expeditions inside
It is technically a backpack that serves to move tools for different tasks, including space to store a hammock or chinchorro.
It is a multipurpose backpack, used to transport tools, fruit, meat, and even newborn babies.
Wo wa Yekuana closed
It is a basket to store fruits and protect them from fruit flies, its interior is fresh allowing the fruits to have a long life.
As we can appreciate the aboriginal basketwork has utility for the day to day of the ethnic groups that maintain a system of hunting, gathering and sowing. Now let's talk a little about the design, many ethnic groups regularly use the monkey in the design of the baskets, the legend says that animals and humans fought for territorial aspects and religious magical beings appeared in the struggle and established peace. All these animals such as birds, monkeys, snakes, frogs are part of the ancestral heritage kept alive by the different aboriginal groups, the weaving is sacred so the items are not simple objects of cooking or collecting is the story woven and told through generations. According to the western world view this could not be considered a language, however I feel that besides the stories it guides the population which represents 2.5% of all the inhabitants of Venezuela it is a philosophy, a way of life.
If you want to know more about these ancestral traditions in Venezuela I invite you to read the following article.
Thanks for reading
Special thanks to the delegation