We are a family that walk the red road--the way of the heart.  Our work is inspired by the sacred plant medicines--sharing their messages and teachings through our way of life, the way we care for our body & the body of our Mother Earth.  These adornments are one way we bring the "pinta", the vision, the healing to life! One way we remember that "life is the ceremony!" 

In this way, each article is a prolongation of the ceremonies where we dedicate our prayers and our deepest love.  The beadwork we are presenting is the artistic manifestation of Yage, bringing with it the energy and the vibration of the sacred power for the people who wear this article.  They are elaborated carefully and in a ceremonial way, because they are prayers from ONE MIND AND ONE HEART materialized, we hope you enjoy them. 

Each piece offered by AYAM goes to support the artisans and families who hand-make them, many of whom come from the Kamentza, Inga & Embera lineages (see more info below). 

Bless the lives of these indigenous communities and the traditions they give their lives to preserve.

All Sales Final.

KAMENTZA

The Kamentza are a deeply spiritual people, and still inhabit their ancestral territory of the Sibundoy Valley in what is known as Alto Putumayo, along the Western fringe of the Colombian Amazon. Approximately 7,000 members of the Kamentza tribe still exist, and they hold adamantly to their traditions. Above all else, respect for Pachamama Mother Earth, and all of her gifts, is of fundamental importance to the Kamentza.

Shamanism and "shamanic visions" are a deep part of their beliefs and resulting symbolism, which is preservedt through their celebrations, music, dances, traditional medicine, and artisan work.  Shamans are known as Taitas in the Kamentza native language, Kamsa, and the Taita's visionary interpretations projected into symbolism that represents the tribe's unity with, and dependance upon, the natural world, and to their spiritual worldviews, or cosmovision.  The most fundamental symbols and beliefs of the Kamentza are represented in their "chaquiras" or beaded jewelry.

A few of the sacred symbols: >>FROG: fertility, the messenger of water; >>RAINBOW: unity, holds great significance; >>BEAR: strength and power; >>SHAMAN: the link to the spiritual world and guide for the community; >>TIGER: the second embodiment of the shaman and solitary ruler of the jungle; >>SUN: giver of life and energy; >>MOTHER'S WOMB: a symbol of the sacredness of motherhood and mother-earth; >>ANT: hard work; >>STAR: creation; >>MACAW PARROT: liberty in thought and being.

INGA

The Inga people are an indigenous ethnic group from the Southwest region of Colombia with a historical relation to the Incas.  They speak a dialect of Quechua known as Inga Kichwa.  Almost all Inga people are bilingual in Inga and Spanish, which has caused fear that the Inga language might become an endangered language.  Many today live traditionally in the Sibundoy Valley. 

EMBERA

The Embera are a relatively large and dispersed tribe, originally concentrated in southern Panama and Northwestern Colombia, but, due to political pressures and forced relocations, entire communities have become displaced.  One particular community located in Caqueta, Colombia, in the Amazon, is a part of a sub-sect of Embera known as the Embera Chami.  In 2005, the entire community, consisting of 45 families, was forced from their homes in "Resguardo Honduras" and into the vulnerable slums of the nearest city, Florencia.  After much suffering and sickness, in 2014 they were finally resettled into a territory within 100 miles of their original homes, still in Caqueta.  

Traditions are preserved through music, dance, artisan work and a strong communal solidarity.  In their quest for autonomy and self-sustainability, it is essential to them to form bond of mutual respect before any cultural interchange or developmental projects can be conducted. 

One of the Embera's most noteable artisan products is that of the "Chaquira" beaded jewelry, which both the men and women wear during ceremonies and in daily life.  These highly skilled original designs represent symbols from their worldviews (cosmovision), natural plants and medicines, Mother Earth, and especially their sense of community.  Each individual color also holds special significance for the Embera. One of the most recognizable symbols in the chaquira are the designs consisting of different arrangements for prehensile monkey tails, which, for this incredible and inspiring group, represent community and togetherness.