Milda Asmaca (also spelled Hasmaca) Conquista lives in the Wounaan village of Maje. She wasn’t born there, she traveled there from San Juan, Colombia when she was 11 years old. There are Wounaan communities located in both Panama and Colombia, strewn throughout the Darien Rainforest. She is a younger weaver, not yet 30, and that’s why we see such new and different designs from her. Many weavers will create floral motifs with flowers all similarly sized and dotted around the piece, but Milda has created magnificent, pictorially inspired versions of her favorite motif, the rose, with enlarged petals and details that fill an entire side of the basket.
Milda has a large family, very common with the Wounaan, with four sisters and three brothers. Most of her family weaves, three of her sisters. She learned to weaver from her sisters, first by watching them and playing along, and finally she saw the value in creating baskets and realizing income from her designs.
She is in the process of building a house in Chepo, a village closer to the city, so she can prepare her two kids for school. Her husband, who is also an artisan, makes sure she has the prepared shredded palm to weave with, but she prefers to create dyes herself. Milda’s favorite color is pink, which we see in her beautiful big, detailed roses frequently.