May 1, 2017

“Do stories grow? Well, yes. Not spontaneously, obviously—they tend to need people as vectors,” renowned storyteller Neil Gaiman has said on how stories last. For the Wayuu tribe, their folklore prevails with every deliberate step, woven into the pairs of shoes that carry their stories beyond the arid region of Guajira in Colombia to men and women the world over.

Liliana and Natalia Acevedo, the women behind Kaanas, discovered the matriarchal tribe’s weaving practice while on a trip to the desert paradise the Wayuu call home. Inspired by their tenacity and the beauty of their craft, the sisters became determined to create a line of shoes that would translate the women’s Old World tradition into a modern silhouette of the classic espadrille.

The result is a footwear collection that pays homage to the white beaches and sweeping landscapes of Guajira. The hand-crafted shoes are made with organic cotton and other eco-friendly materials, a respectful nod to the environment that inspires the Wayuu women’s weavings. From the tribal lore of Walé kerü, the mythical spider that taught the women to weave, the story gets passed on to us to wear and carry; one conscientious pair of shoes at a time.

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