The Legend of Calima
Calima is the name of an indigenous culture in Colombia. This culture along with the other pre-Columbian groups who persisted for many centuries, possessed great skills and engaged in many artistic endeavors. One of these artistic skills was jewelry-making. The history of Calima jewelry makers dates back to around 4,000 years B.C.
Their skills were complemented by the exotic geological history of the region that made available large reserves of precious and semi-precious metals and stones. Copper, gold, silver and various alloys were extensively used in the making of jewelry. Gold was mainly used as offerings to the gods, and gold items accompanied the dead to their graves as well.
The Mesoamericans were expert jewelry makers and their timeless methods of creation are still very much used today in the making of modern jewelry.
Modern Colombian Jewelry
Modern Colombian jewellery designers have the advantage of having pre-colonial art and ancient gold artifacts to source their inspiration from. Also known as pre-Columbian art, these gorgeous designs were in existence before any European colonizers had set foot in the Americas.
In the Philippines, Calima Jewellery provides the access to these beautiful products of ingenuity by a different cultural group, many thousands of kilometers away across the Pacific Ocean. The jewelries of Calima are authentic artisan-crafted pieces. They are fresh, vibrant pieces guaranteed to enhance any look and definitely make you stand out.
Calima’s jewelries include a line that is the continuation of the pre-Columbian ancestral tradition of forging hand-made reproductions of the “El Dorado” pre-Columbian treasures, which can only be seen in the world famous Gold Museum in Bogota. These pieces are made using the lost-wax process. Each piece is plated with either pure silver or a mixture of 24K and 18K gold, which gives an intense and unique depth of color. Also incorporated into each design are top quality semi-precious stones such as sodalite, amazonite, jasper, onyx, and agate.
The result is a visually pleasing synthesis of contemporary design and ancient craftsmanship.
The Wayuu Bags
In addition to jewelry, Calima also sells Wayuu bags (also known as ‘mochilas’) and mola goods (bags, shoes, sandals, belts, etc) and accessories, which are both popular for their use of diverse array of color and striking aesthetic. Available in Wayuu patterns intertwined with cotton or cotton and leather, these bags have been intricately hand-crafted by members of Colombia’s native Wayuu tribe.
Aside from being visually remarkable, each color and pattern is symbolic of a deeper meaning. The Wayuu bags and mola shoes not only enhance your look, but every purchase helps the indigenous tribes that created them.
Calima’s Founder, Claudia Hernandez
Calima Jewellery was founded by long-time Manila resident Claudia Hernandez, a native of Bogota, Colombia. She pioneered in bringing in pre-Columbian jewelry to the Philippines almost two decades ago to share her beautiful and rich cultural heritage with the Filipino people. Colombia has gained international acclaim for its rich jewelry culture, one that stands out for its intricate patterns, dazzling but earthy designs and delicate craftsmanship.