Once again, welcome to Colombias Cultural Expressions online!
Folk art is defined as stemming from traditions; a cultural identity expressed thru creative skills conveying a communities shared values. Colombias Cultural Expressions would like to share with you the traditions and culture of the Colombian Artisan as they express them in their stunning crafts.
We welcome the opportunity to schedule hands-on workshops with Museums and schools in order to share and teach about the cultures and the individuals behind the crafts. For more information or to schedule a workshop in your community, please contact us at
Include a daytime telephone number and specific subject or craft.
As you browse ColombiasCulturalExpressions.com you will notice most of the materials are referenced in their commonly known form and usually in Spanish, we have included below a glossary of terms and various links to museums or fascinating places with extraordinary history and facts.
If you have any questions, or would like further information about our products, please refer to Contact Us and send us an email, we will be happy to research it for you.
Thank you for visiting Colombias Cultural Expressions.
In keeping true to Colombias Cultural Expressions mission to share the beauty of the Colombian Artisans craft their pieces are often referenced by the material they are made from in its Spanish form. Listed below are some terms often used and links to guide to better understand the nature of the item.
Pronounced “tow – tu- mo”; scientific name Crescentia Cujete – material: Dried calabash hard shell (the fruit of the calabash tree, common name for a tree found in tropical America especially in central and South America.
Pronounced “fee-qe” – Fique has its origin in tropical America in the Andean region of Colombia and Venezuela, it spread to Brazil and the Antilles. In Colombia this fiber has been used from unmemorable time to elaborate hammocks, nets, cords, enjalmas, fabrics, belts, impermeable blankets, caps, footwear and moorings of huts.
Natural and beautiful it is also called “Vegetable Ivory” obtained from the Tagua Ivory-nut palm, Phytelephas aequatorialis in the South American rain forest. Once dried, the nut can then be worked or carved as an ivory replica appreciated by Humanitarians and environmentalists.
Is a type of cane that is native in the region of Rio Sinú on the Atlantic coast of Colombia. The palm has been used by the Zenú people and their ancestors for centuries unfortunately they had their riches, lands and possessions taken by colonial settlers. However, today they use their ancestor’s pre-Columbian weaving techniques to make handcrafted accessories in contemporary designs naturally organic.
Commonly known as the “useful plant of Colombia” this plant is native to the Americas and is of great interest to the national industry of craftsmen. Products are produced depending on the stage of growth and color. Some portions are enjoyed in salads.
Many of the ceramic pieces are made of a clay or mixture of clays from different regions of the country. In particular the black ceramic from La Chamba is believed to be found only the department of Tolima in all of the Americas. Other pieces are made of the clay found in the Orinoquia regions.
Simply stated it is the “Coconut”, the coconut is just a simple dry fruit known as a fibrous drupe. Its many parts have different uses, the husk, called the mesocarp, and are made of fibers called coir. In the mesocarp there is an inner stone, the endocarp which is hard is used to make household items for decorative uses or functional. The coconut has many uses worldwide ranging from nutritional to cultural.
Cumare comes from the Palm tree it is a strong, fine fiber is extracted used in the weaving of hammocks, baskets, and other domestic objects.
Pronounced “cha·lu·pa” – In Mexican cuisine a flour tortilla is topped with beans, onions, salsa, meat and the like, it is then arranged like a “canoe”, similar to a taco. “Canoe” in Spanish is chalupa. In Colombia it is common to see “chalupa” along the river transporting vegetables, fruits, and people.
A glazing technique dating back to pre-Columbian era using Mopa-Mopa and still used today, a resin obtained from the tree of the same name. The resin is cooked and colored with vegetable dyes to produce laminae.
Please note that links with “ * ”are in Spanish and may offer translation options thru searches using www.google.com.co
*Museo Nacional (National Museum in Bogota, Colombia). http://www.museonacional.gov.co/
Smithsonian Nacional Museum of Natural History – http://www.mnh.si.edu/exhibits/gold/index.htm
Zipaquira Salt Cathedral – Built in an underground rock salt mine where salt is still being extracted. There are what appear to be miles of tunnels from where the salt has been extracted. – http://www.catedraldesal.gov.co/