Folk Ark is very pleased to welcome our first brand listing out of Panama, offering a thoughtful range of home and kitchen ware that makes the most of local Panamanian and Colombian craft traditions while reverencing the simple perfection of natural materials.
Sydney-based native Colombian Celestina Lacombe started Malambo with the aim of celebrating the rich, vibrantly sensual culture of the Colombian Caribbean while connecting with the family and traditions she left behind there.
The result is an ethical collaboration with artisans ranging from the indigenous Wayuu and Mokana ethnic groups of northern Colombia, to the famed filigree jewellers of Santa Cruz de Mompox, to Celestina's own sister Ignacia and her team of paid apprentices.
The core of Malambo's range is its bright, easygoing mochila bags, woven traditionally by indigenous women of the matrilineal Wayuu culture of northern Colombia's Guajira Peninsula. Alongside these is light and colourful straw jewelry created by women of the indigenous Mokana ethnic group, whose culture was severely damaged by Spanish colonisation and is fighting to survive and reestablish into the 21st century. Celestina's sister Ignacia and her apprentices create crochet items and natural fibre bags and accessories, while Malambo's partnership with artisans in the famous goldsmithing town of Santa Cruz de Mompox brings a centuries-old tradition from its roots in Hispanic settlement into a modern context.
Celestina was inspired to create Malambo by the idea that the world has a story to tell, and her homeland's story is one of a 'faraway land, where the air is filled with music, guava scent and yellow butterflies...'. Welcome to the Directory Malambo!
The next welcome addition to the Folk Ark Directory is Colombian jeweller L. A. Cano, whose high quality reproductions of pre-Hispanic designs have been painstakingly researched over generations of the Cano family's fascination with the region's indigenous peoples and the artefacts they left behind.
Working L. A. Cano's designs in 24k gold-plated brass, 18k gold and .925 sterling silver are a team of skilled craftsmen utilising the same smithing methods as were employed in pre-Columbian times, including lost wax casting, hammering, bas-relief and high-relief. The resulting range pays homage not only to the aesthetic flair of indigenous Colombian cultures but to the ingenuity and skill of their craftsmen, and their belief in the supernatural properties of the materials with which they worked. This page of their website briefly describes some of the pre-Columbian cultures on whose original artefacts their pieces are based.