White stepped designs curl tightly around the sides in thin bands. The rich black background add a contemporary feel in contrast to the tight white decorations. Geometric motifs draw their inspiration from multiple sources, including pre-Colombian textiles, ceramics and rock art. Baskets woven with these designs are often referred to as cultural, due to the fact that a large part of their inspiration stems from body paintings and patterns on spiritual paraphernalia used by village shamans.
These tattoos are applied frequently and last only a few weeks, fading quickly. The color comes from the juices of a locally found root vegetable, and applied using a few thin sticks. Painted designs go on clear and darken overnight into the deep rich color you see in many Wounaan and Embera tattoed subjects. Many believe the vegetable juices used to create these beautiful designs also has the properties of an insect repellent.