Caña Flecha: A Colombian handicraft heritage
The Caña Flecha weaving technique dates back to pre-Colombian times and was originated by Zenu indians located in the northern caribbean coast of Colombia. The Caña Flecha insert is made out of the Gynerium Sagittatum grass plant. First the leaves are dried and then the veins are removed with a knife in order to obtain uniform and sturdy strips. The strips are then dried in the sun until the green leaves turn white or beige. To obtain the dark colored strips, the beige or white strips are soaked in black mud for a few days and then rinsed with cold water and boiled with achiote (another wild plant) for a few hours. Then the tinted strips are dried in the sun for a few days.
After this process where the colored and un-colored strips are obtained, the artisan starts to weave the strips into many different patterns depending on the intended use. (baskets, bracelets, hats)