Colorful Toucan, Embera Mask

$290

SOLD

This fuzzy colorful toucan boasts a golden, blue, and crimson beak, beautifully woven with swirling stitches. His cheeks show another fine swirl of colors, finished with a traditional design on the collar.

6″ W x 14″ H, created by an Embera weaver.

Free US shipping on all orders.

Woven shaman masks are created by the Emberá people of Panamá. They share similar cultural traditions and weaving artistry as their neighboring Wounaan tribe. Emberá shamans (called jaibaná) use figures and visages to be used in their healing and cleansing ceremonies. The masks and animal images are assembled around the hut where a curing ritual takes place.

The newest, softest green palm fronds are shredded by hand, extracting the internal fibers as thin as thread. After drying in the sun, these fibers are dyed in mixtures created using roots, berries and seed pods, all-naturally sourced vegetal colors.

Stitched over many months and years from natural palm fibers and organic dyes, your handmade woven art should be displayed proudly, away from any windows and skylights. The ultra-violet rays of direct sun and strong light can cause the saturated natural dyes in textile and fiber art to fade, and can even damage the fibers themselves.

If your woven art resides with you in the desert or other dry environments, you may feel better occasionally misting it (as often done to wicker or rattan) inside with distilled or non-chlorinated tap water. Using a paper towel, gently pat any excess moisture from the interior.

We offer free shipping within the continental United States.

  • For addresses in the US, tracked postage takes 2-7 business days.
  • International shipping is available to all destinations. You can either 1) complete your purchase online and we will send you a list of shipping options and prices. Once the shipping is paid we will send the objects and tracking information. Or 2) send an inquiry through email or product page and we will send your approximate shipping options based on your delivery address.
  • Rainforest Baskets is not responsible for customs duties or taxes on international shipments, nor is it responsible for delays associated with the import process.
  • We will be happy to offer a full refund (excluding shipping) on items returned within 7 days of receipt of delivery.
  • Returned items must be in original condition and undamaged, and purchased directly from RainforestBaskets.com.
  • Proof of purchase is required.
  • For defective, damaged or incorrect items, please notify us within five days of delivery in order to receive a refund/exchange.
  • Email us at info@rainforestbaskets.com to organise the return.

SOLD

SKU: OBD-123MC42 Categories: ,

Description

Woven shaman masks are created by the Emberá people of Panamá. They share similar cultural traditions and weaving artistry as their neighboring Wounaan tribe. Emberá shamans (called jaibaná) use figures and visages to be used in their healing and cleansing ceremonies. The masks and animal images are assembled around the hut where a curing ritual takes place.

Masterful animal masks are created using thin shreds of Chunga palm fibers dyed into various colors, coiled over thick bundles of Naguala palm. Shredded palm fronds, dried in the sun, readily absorb the vegetal dyes created out of local resources. Roots, berries and river silt are just some of the items that are used to boil, bury, and simmer palm fronds in to take on vibrant colors.

Vegetal Dye Sources

Lianas Vine

A woody climbing plant that hangs from trees, especially in tropical rainforests. It is used to make both a pink color and a cream color, depending on which part of the vine that is used.

Asafran

Saffron makes many colors, including a rich green. Also used to make green are soliman (a seed-like potatoe) and earth.

Cocobolo Wood

Cocobolo is a prized rosewood, used for decorative carvings, knife handles and more. Many carvers leave behind wood shavings that are used as a chocolate colored dye.

Trumpet Vine

Flowers are used to create brilliant colors depending on the time in bloom. Vibrant red and colorful hues or rich, darker hues depending on the lifecycle of the plant.

We work with many weavers, apx 50-75 Wounaan and a dozen Embera weavers. Here we spotlight some of the artists.

Dorotea & Roxana Barrington

Dorotea & Roxana live in a small village on the outskirts of Panama City. At the time we visited Roxana was heavily pregnant with her second child, and a toddler running around at her feet. The mother and daughter weaving team showed us the masks that were under construction, looking like 3-D line drawings with rounded bundles of dried palm twisted into round shapes.

The weavers lived in a roughly assembled house, down a long narrow path and through a small walkway along the side of the house. Their cinder block house was only a few small rooms, with everyone living in the same spaces.  We were visiting with our school aged twins, who chased the chickens around out back, in-between large plastic barrels and another cinder block house under construction. There were ladders, wheelbarrows, and plastic bags strewn about. It was an undiscovered treasure of play land for the kids.

Dorotea & Roxana told us they weave masks as a basic source of income. And they have been doing well, much better than before we starting purchasing from them. In fact their family has made as much from mask weaving in the 6 recent months than they had made in the past 6 years. Working with these weavers we are proud to hear they are better able to support their family, plan for the future, and have more income stability.

~ OUR MISSION ~

At Rainforest Baskets our very small team brings beautiful handmade woven art to your space, and empowers indigenous weavers to create a better future for themselves and their families.

Wounaan Master Weavers

Passing down traditions through generations

Months & Years to Create

View upcoming pieces in construction

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