The Carnival of Forgiveness and the Amazon Earring Series


Amazon Rainforest-Style Forgiveness Earrings

Bomboná’s mission is to reshape Colombia’s rich cultural heritage with a fresh, modern and sustainable perspective. The Amazon Forgiveness Earring Series is a collaborative effort with Colombia’s traditional Inga indigenous community, paying tribute to the Inga traditional cultural celebration “kalusturinda” (Forgiveness Carnival) and drawing inspiration from the Amazon rainforest for its handcrafted beaded earring designs. Each pair of earrings is inspired by the vibrant colors and enchanting shapes of the rainforest, encapsulating the essence of primal nature and the ancestral art of beading. Our aim is for you not only to acquire a unique handmade accessory but also to become a part of this beautiful story filled with resilience, heritage, and shared growth.

Interview with Young Inga Artisan Camila Tisoy

Camila Tisoy, a handmade artisan from the De Santiago community in Putumayo, shared her cultural insights. She explained, “Being Inga means deeply connecting with the traditions and culture passed down by our elders.” Over time, the younger generation has been harvesting the seeds planted by their ancestors. As a new generation, we continue to carry forward and elevate Inga customs and traditions, which form the foundation of our ancestral community’s well-being. Being Inga means embracing the essence of being a female artisan within the Inga community. Through our traditional beading techniques, we infuse our creations with beautiful energy, thoughts, and wisdom, allowing those who wear these earrings to experience the charm of Inga culture.

Regarding the significance of creating these accessories, she added, “Creating these accessories not only holds economic value for us and benefits our community, but it also enables us to fully express the history and emotions of Inga culture. By wearing our creations, everyone can feel the energy we’ve poured into them.” Camila’s journey as an artisan began early due to family influence. She said, “I learned beadwork from my father and uncle at a very young age. Attending a bilingual school that incorporated both Spanish and Inga languages enriched my understanding of traditional arts. Continuously discovering joy through hands-on work, she emphasized that sharing knowledge also reinforced her expertise.”

Celebrating Tradition and Shaping the Future

The Inga and Kamëntsá people have a complex history of conflict over survival resources, accumulating generations of resentment. Faced with the ruthless impact of Spanish conquerors, they chose to forgive past grievances and embarked on a lengthy journey of reconciliation and coexistence that has continued for centuries. Each year, they celebrate both Kalusturinda and Bëtsknaté, translated as “Forgiveness Carnival” in Spanish. This grand parade, filled with music and dance, celebrates the past, present, and future. Starting with pilgrimages between families and culminating in a large procession winding through the town, friends and family visit each other to seek forgiveness from their elders, saying “divichidu,” meaning “lend me your carnival” or “lend me your music.” This also signifies the obligation to celebrate and return joy to those who give.

Finally, the parade arrives at the central square, where a ritual sacrifice of a rooster takes place. The rooster symbolizes the suffering caused by colonizers to indigenous communities, the rejection of violence, and the welcoming of forgiveness. The day concludes with priests singing hymns that exalt nature, praying for blessings from the land, sun, moon, water, and trees. Amidst the communal dancing and singing, the festivities close with a joyful blessing for the beginning of a new life cycle for the people. Kalusturinda symbolizes transformation, expressing forgiveness and unity through two consecutive days of celebration. Gratitude is also extended to Mother Nature for her past and future blessings, representing the aspiration to set aside past grievances and embrace harmony. Reflecting on ancient traditions while looking at present life, can we too let go of the past and start anew in a world filled with conflicts and anxieties?

Our collaboration celebrates culture and creates beautiful accessories. Each earring carries resilience, cultural heritage, and a spirit of shared growth. By wearing these earrings, you embrace forgiveness, cherish nature, and contribute to shaping a brighter future. Through artisans like Camila, tradition flourishes, carrying forward the values of Inga culture. We are inspired by this commitment to cultural heritage and proudly contribute to its continuity.

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