The Guajira Peninsula is an extremely harsh environment. For millennia, the Wayúu have to learned to adapt and withstand extreme weather conditions. Goats and donkeys are the animals of choice as they can stand the harsh desert conditions. The Kanasü on this bag is called Pulikeruuya. It represents the vulva of the donkey. Given the importance of donkeys for the community, it is even more important to have female donkeys capable of producing foals and hence why they are represented as an important element to the culture.
Colors don’t have specific meanings for the Wayúu. However, as the bag is meant to capture a piece of the artist’s life, colors are associated with the state of mind. Bright colors are often used when the artist is feeling happy or satisfied.
The Plato or bottom, is different for every bag and Wayúu artists are known for not repeating platos. They represent dear aspects of the artist’s life, such as their family, emotions or dreams.