Striped Tail Trogons, Wounaan Basket


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A bird-filled rainforest motif with a packed scene of birds in a thick greenery. Four brown branches grow up from the base, and macaws, curly-tiled quetzals, and striped trogons all perch around the branches . Densely packed with lots of tree limbs and leaves, this is finished at the top with a beautiful colorful design.

13″ W x 11″ H, by Wounaan weaver Venancia Membache.

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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.

In stock

SKU: SPM-3253 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.

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.


At Rainforest Baskets our 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

Empowering Indigenous Women

Building self esteem through creating art


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