Ancestral Wisdom The Wayúu Normative System

Pütchipü’üi discussing with members of the community.

The Wayúu normative system of the Pütchipü’üi is listed as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.

The Wayúu occupy a semi-arid desert in northern Colombia and Venezuela. Given the harshness of the area, the Wayúu have developed a conflict resolution system, that prioritizes peace and negotiation over conflict.

The objective is to reestablish social harmony through reconciliation. Whenever two families or clans are in dispute, they will see the Pütchipü’üi, a sort of mediator and conciliator that will work to solve the conflict between the parts. 

The Pütchipü’üi is a true testament to the principle of respect applied by modern day indigenous peoples, to live harmoniously and in peace in their societies.