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25 Aug 2017

Week’s metaphor: Tener la vara alta

vara (rod) is a long thin stick. Throughout the history of the human being, the rod (vara) has been used as a symbol of spiritual or political power and also as a differentiating mark of high rank in social organizations. In some indigenous societies of the Colombian Amazon, the rod is a command object that means leadership in the cabildos.

In Colombia, the expression ‘tener la vara alta’ is used to refer to people with an executive rank or with a lot of influence in social, labor or academic spaces. This means the person is able to influence behaviors and decisions of the people in charge of a social, work or academic space or that, actually, is in charge of any of the three scenarios. In this way, when a person is able to influence in boss decisions, or in someone’s mother and father, they are said to have ‘tiene la vara alta.


Patricia tiene la vara alta con los jefes de la empresa

(Patricia has the high rod with the heads of the company)

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