Smiling Piglet, Wounaan Cocobolo Carving


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This sweet little piglet measures 12″ L x 4″ W x 6″ H, and weighs 3lbs 9oz. He’s got a little carved smile showing teeth, and pointy ears and hoofs. Round eyes are carved into the sides of his head, along with rounded nostril holes.

This piece shows many of the natural elements of the carver, from notches on the side of the base to the natural colors of the wood.

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Carvings are created using the darker reddish-brown heart of the wood. The sapwood is a creamy yellow, not often used in carvings except for a small section sometimes on the outer layer of the carving.

Cocobolo is a dense rosewood, prized for its weight and beautiful lines. It is one of the main creative endeavors of many Wounaan men, who carve various animals first with a hatchet, and add finishes by hand sanding and applying a gloss to the completed piece. Each creation is unique, hand made by a single artisan, and may have markings on the outside of the piece as evidence of a handmade piece of art.

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.

In stock

SKU: CCB-PIG1 Category:


Cocobolo is a tropical hardwood from Central America. Only the heartwood is used: this is typically orange or reddish-brown in color, often with a figuring of darker irregular traces weaving through the wood. The sapwood (not often used) is a creamy yellow, with a sharp boundary with the heartwood. The heartwood is known to change color after being cut, lending to its appeal.

Standing up well to repeated handling and exposure to water, a common use is in gun grips and knife handles. It is very hard, fine textured and dense, but is easily machined, although due to the abundance of natural oils, the wood tends to clog abrasives and fine-toothed saw blades, like other very hard, very dense tropical woods. Due to its density and hardness, even a large block of the cut wood will produce a clear musical tone if struck. Cocobolo can be polished to a lustrous, glassy finish.

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.

Meet Wounaan weaver Dalia Negria

Introducing one of the talented weavers we work with, Dalia Negria. Dalia grew up in the small remote community of Sinai, Darien. She moved to the city with her husband, Trucman, when he began his studies at the university in Panama City.

Dalia’s aunt and teacher instilled in her a passion for knitting and weaving. In particular, she taught Dalia how to weave with shredded Chunga Palm, the colorful material stitched into baskets to create designs. She was one of the first weavers to work with Chunga Palm. For some years, she mostly used sewing thread in her weaving; she now uses shredded leaves of the Naguala Palm for the coil of the basket and dyed Chunga Palm leaves stripped as thin as thread for the colorful designs.

Master weavers often create their own colors to add depth and extend their palette, and at an early age, Dalia began creating new designs and dyes. She was the first weaver to use local Cocobolo wood (most often used by Wounaan men for ornamental carvings) for a dye, creating a new shade of black. She also created a red from Pucham, a leaf native to the Darien Rainforest that is also used to heal wounds.

Dalia is one of the famed Negria sisters, three siblings whose works are known and collected for their intricate designs. Her sister Miriam is also a master weaver; she has perfected the finest weaving techniques and specializes in Macaw baskets and other cultural designs. Her other sister, Christina, works in cultural designs, quetzals, butterflies, and scarlet flowers.

Dalia has taught workshops and seminars for weavers with Embera Wounaan government entities, and she also teaches through the church. Thanks to her creative influence, more than 400 Wounaan artisans currently make a living weaving with Chunga Palm. Dalia uses her earnings to pay for improvements to her home and other necessities and invests in her daughters’ education.

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

Traditional & Modern Motifs

Inspired by history and life in the rainforest

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