Traditional knowledge and technologies relating to the growing and processing of the curagua
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Inscribed in 2015 (10.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
The traditional knowledge and technologies related to the growing and processing of curagua encompass a complex set of practices concerning the cultivation of the plant and the extraction of white fibres, which are characterized by their strength, durability and softness. The fibres are woven into thread and used to produce a range of artisanal goods, such as the hammock – a traditional emblem of the region. Traditionally, men extract and process the curagua fibre because of the strength required, while women weave and manufacture the artisanal products. The practice plays a significant role in moulding the identity of the communities found in the municipality of Aguasay. It works as a mechanism of social cohesion that overcomes gender, ethnic and sociocultural barriers. It promotes diverse forms of cooperation within and between communities and family structures, wherein women take on an important role in creative labour and family income. The knowledge and technologies are passed on from one generation to the next, mainly through oral tradition, observation and imitation among family members.