Colombian tribe purses weave their way to San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Colombian tribe purses weave their way to San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Style and social causes have collided in California in the form of colorful purses called Wayuu bags. 

Wayuu bags are handmade by the Wayuu Tribe in Northern Colombia. Catholic nuns taught the Wayuu women how to crochet in the 1800's, and even though the tribe still lives poverty, the Wayuu purses have slowly been putting money in the tribe members' pockets. 

By wearing colorful stories about the sun, plants and starts, Paola Salazar, said it is a woman's way of looking good and feeling good about a Colombian cause.

Salazar moved to San Diego after marrying her husband and was surprised by the dozens of woman who stopped her on the street to ask about her beautiful bag. 

Having worked in the fashion industry for 20-years, Paola Salazar, from South America, knew the bags were big in Europe, but now, she said, it is the celebrities who are now fueling the fire. 

"I saw Shakira wearing them and Katy Perry wearing them," she said. 

Even Paris Hilton loves the bags said Salazar. 

Every bag is unique and every bag tells a different story. "It's an expression," said Salazar.  

Paola said when she buys the bags from tribal representatives, ten-percent of the proceeds go directly to the woman who stitched them. 

"That is food. That is clothing," said Salazar. 

The Agora Galleries at the Grand-Hyatt in downtown San Diego carries the purses. 

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