Once the comming of age girl is trained all the skills required to be a Wayúu wife, she is considered ready to me married off. Most marriages are arranged by the mother and her brother, who is considered to be the head of the family. The father plays little to no role in the life of his children. The family of the groomas to pay a dowry, which is payed in goats. Swiss people will remember the folk song telling a tale of a man in the orient, who was not able to afford enough camels for the girl he was in love with, hearing this. After a joyful wedding ceremony with traditional dances and drumming, the husband moves in to the houshold of the wifes family. The Wayúu people allow polygam! which means that the husband lives his life sometimes between the different households of his wifes families.
After having been and lulled into sleep by the sound of the waves in the comfortable hammok, I wake up to the sun burning down from the sky. Back in the jeep we pass now through many small settlements and are stopped by the ropes, handing our candy out. Some women sell shrimps and snails to the few cars which pass their terretory.
The more north we go, the fewer the settlements, the dirt road fades slowly, the car makes his way now on rocky ground, sand parts, sea shells amd salt flats testifying that this ground once belonged to the sea. Even the cactuses are suffering from the drought, displaying a poor condition with brown leaves. We stop at different points to view the stunning coast line, populated by strangely beautiul snails and maiestic pelicans.
We reach punto gallinas in the afternoon, the most northern point of the continent. There is nothing and nobody, exept the one “hotel” which hosts all the travellers making this journey in beautiful croched hammoks. The silence and peace of this place is humbeling, everyone of my group enjoys the sunset by themself completly in silence.
Next day on the market, back in town, I am buying one of the wide, colorful Wayúu dresses, called “Manta”. An old Wayúu woman has come to town to sell her bags to the market people.
She: Are you pregnant?
Me: No, just like the dress.
She: But you do have children right?
She: But you do have a husband right?
She: Ayayayyyy ayay!!!! Hmmm…. Would you like to marry a farmer of ours? I know a really good one?
Me: Very kind but no thank you.
She, with a diabolic smile to the market woman: Look I am marrying this one to a farmer of ours!
Me: No really thanks, couldn’t handle the polygamy, really liked the landscape though….