Photo: David O Marlow Studio
Many times in nature, our surroundings are so beautiful that they are, in themselves, true examples of art—and Wounaan Hӧsig Di is certainly no exception. Handmade by Panama’s rural Wounaan tribe, these vibrant and intricate baskets, now some of the rarest art forms across the globe, are the result of ancient weaving traditions passed through generations of the indigenous peoples of the Darién rainforest. Popular for their unique artistry and careful technique, these baskets have gained international fame for their intricacy and design; regarded so highly that some have even been valued by renowned collectors at an upwards of $30,000 apiece.
Originally designed purely for practical endeavors of storage or transportation, these baskets, today, have evolved into revered works of art. Gaining their inspiration from the nature that surrounds them and the geometric patterns of pre-Colombian body painting, the talented women who weave them often incorporate ancient Colombian pottery designs and pictures of the exotic plant and animal life found in the Darién rainforest into their creations. Using needles to sew only the supplest of fibers from the native Chunga and Naguala palms, each basket can take months, or even years, to complete—and reflect an impressive range of colors, stemming from the natural hues of local seeds, roots, berries, fruits, flowers, leaves and other native flora.
Recognizing the unparalleled value of the artistry of this remote region, we work exclusively with master weavers from the Wounaan and Emberá tribes in a traditional, working patron relationship. Bringing global attention to this otherwise distant community, we promote their work, and as a result, offer stability and growth to those who have excelled in their craft. By focusing our efforts on these small tribes, we strive to support the often unappreciated skills of these truly talented artists to ultimately provide you, our fellow art enthusiasts, with only the most authentic Hӧsig Di—direct from the source.