The Embera are a mountainous indigenous people from from the Pacific coastal regions of Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador. Despite the growing popularity of the Embera’s stunning jewelry adornments, the Embera still suffer from displacement and are forced to leave their home villages. Many women of the Embera Chami tribe will often live together with their children in small living spaces in larger metropolitan cities in search of income.
Nativo Soul has partnered directly with two Embera communities in Colombia. By working directly with the families, we are able to ensure that with every purchase, money and opportunity is going directly back into the communities without any middle man.
Embera Seedbead Jewelry: The recognized Embera neck adornment is called Okama which derived from the Embera belief that women “wear the weight of the world on their shoulders” and takes 4-7 days to complete a single neck adornment by a single artisan. Each Okama, as well as other adornments such as earrings and bracletes, embody the Embera’s ancestral stories and their spiritual connection to Mother Earth. This art-form is the ultimate expression of Embera tradition and culture.
The Misak are a Western Andean mountain people residing in the Guambia reservation in the department of Cauca, Colombia. Just as many other indigenous tribes in Colombia, the Misak have also been significantly affected by Colombia’s armed conflict resulting in the lack of economic stability and academic opportunities.
Nativo Soul has partnered with a Misak community outside of Bogotá, Colombia to implement initiatives towards economic and educational advancement within the Misak community by building businesses centered around their skills as artisans.