Indigenous Colombians have rich textile traditions. Mantas—which were used as shawls as well as decorations for homes, tribute payments, and luxury gifts—were among the most valuable, inalienable possessions, and were required to be buried with caciques (rulers) when they died. 
Cotton was crucial for wrapping bodies and offerings, including those made of metal, and remains as an essential material in the spiritual practices of many cultures. In the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, cotton strings can weave not only clothing and bags, but thoughts and intentions.