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Colorful Parrots Wounaan Basket

 

The Panama-based Wounaan weavers of these museum-quality "Hӧsig Di" (finest baskets) are one of the few indigenous cultures in the world creating contemporary woven art today.  They are artisans whose spectacular decorative and collectible masterpieces take several months, and as much as 3-4 years or more to complete.

 

Each unique basket starts with coil of bundled fibers from the naguala palm.  Around this coil are "woven", using a sewing needle, threadlike strands of "chunga", the black palm fiber that is sun bleached and then boiled with leaves, flowers, fruits, or roots to achieve over two dozen natural colors.

 

Designs are categorized as either "cultural" or "pictorial".  Geometric designs are cultural, reflecting Wounaan ceremonial body tattoo, patterned after pre-Columbian rock art and pottery.  Pictorial designs depict st