Souvenirs from Colombia
Handcrafted souvenirs from Colombia are a diverse and varied lot. Whether you choose the black pottery tea sets, handmade sandals, or artisanal baskets, you will find something that perfectly reflects your vacation memories. Brightly woven tapestries and mats are an ideal accent for the home, while silver and gold filigree makes for attractive jewelry and trinket boxes. Straw and fabric hats will be practical while you are touring the country, and just as charming when you return home. Ceramic statues and vases, carved wood figurines and traditional musical instruments such as the Yurupari flute, made from palm leaves, and the Gaita are local curiosities that will enchant for years. Tagua, called plant ivory, are creamy colored carvings made from a local plant. Looking for a packable Colombian souvenir? Molas are appliqued fabric scenes that colorfully sample local scenes of everyday life. Of course, there will always be room for key chains, postcards and magnets with slogans, landmarks and pictures.
The Coconut and Colombia
The coconut is a major component of Colombian agriculture and economy. Up until the mid-1850's, the primary agrarian focus was cotton. When it was discovered that coconuts would provide a better yield and price, many trees were planted, and a new industry was born. Coconuts are important to the country's cuisine, especially in main dishes, and also as an export. Coconut oil is used to fry foods in throughout the world and as a beauty product for dry skin. Fibers from the coconut tree branches are woven to create ropes, hats, rugs, baskets and decorative objects. As you tour Colombia, you will find many unique uses for coconuts. The dried shells are turned in to bowls, cups, dishes and spoons for the kitchen. In the living room, you can turn on a coconut lamp or place your change into a coconut ashtray. For personal decoration, slices of shell are turned in to earrings, pendants and belts, giving every outfit a tropical flair.