Decorated Butterflies, Wounaan Basket


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Brightly color open petal butterflies fill the sides of this pretty rounded piece. The wings each have unique decorations with spots, stripes, and multiple shades. Tall thin antennae stick out the top of each one. Completed at the top with a row of traditional keys in black.

9″ W x 8″ H, constructed by a Wounaan master weaver.

Free US shipping on all orders.

In Wounmeu, the language of the Wounaan, there is a special name for fine traditional coil-construction palm-fiber baskets — hösig di. Expert weavers stitch silk-fine strands of the black palm they call chunga, brilliantly or subtly colored with vegetal and organic dyes, over coils of naguala palm.

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.

Chunga is so closely linked to Wounaan tradition and daily life that, when it comes to the creation of Hösig Di (the Wounmeu term for their fine baskets), each basket is believed to begin with an inherent spiritual quality. Further to this point, the women who weave them are often called “spirit weavers”. Learn more about how Rainforest Baskets art is created.

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
  • 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 to organise the return.


In stock

SKU: OBD-CJ73 Categories: ,


Pictorial motif Rainforest Baskets are called natura due to the fact that they are inspired by their natural surroundings. In fact, these designs often include local flowers, trees, birds, ocelots, jaguars, iguanas and other flora and fauna native to the Darién rainforest.

Masterful coil construction Wounaan baskets are created using thin shreds of Chunga palm fibers dyed into various colors, coiled over thicker 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.


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.

About Maricin Cheucarama Negria

Maricin Cheucarama Negria, a skilled Wounaan weaver, lives in a small village named Chepo, a short distance from Panama City, Panama. She lives with her mother Cristina Negria, in a small concrete house next door to her aunt, Miriam, and up the road from the third of the well-known Negria sisters, Dalia. Miriam comes from a family of master weavers, and learned to weave from them incorporating their style of rib-stitched birds and small-leafed greenery throughout her baskets.

Maricin and her family are not from Chepo and have only been there about 10 years. The highly skilled Negria sisters (her mother and aunts) moved there to have better access to public schools and the university. In the small villages where they came from lived there was only one school that went up to 6th grade but no further, so the sisters used their basket weaving income to move their families to Chepo where there is access to high schools and even a small satellite location for the public university.

Maricin has finished her high school education and started her studies at the university. She told her mother that she wants to be a businesswoman, nothing more specific but as she studies and learns more about her opportunities she will surely expand her choices. She likely will not be weaving while she is in school, and more likely won’t weave afterwards if she can find a job in the city, so her baskets are a rare treasure- one that enables her to use the income to create a different future for herself, and supported by her mother’s weaving which continues to supply income while Maricin is studying.


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

30% off Embera Masks

30% off all masks through October 1st. View the collection.

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