Stylized Green Feather, Wounaan Basket

$18,000

In stock

Stylized green feather design by celebrated weaver Sara Ginguimia. She developed this sharp design inspired by chicken feathers, stylized into long angles and sharp edges. This larger basket has a beautiful heart shape, it rounds out smoothly in the middle and comes in sharply at the top. Completed at the top with a signature disc woven in the same color motif as the basket.

17″ H x 21″ W, by Wounaan weaver Sara Ginguimia, woven in 2006.

Provenance: Sadoff Collection;
Basket Condition: Absolutely perfect, a masterpiece worthy of a museum collection.

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.

*Photo credits: photos on black background by Eric Swanson Studio

In stock

Description

Geometric motif Rainforest Baskets 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. Learn more about motif and design.

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.

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.

Interview with Eliria Mepaquito

My name is Eliria Mepaquito. I’m a Wounaan weaver from the Darién Rainforest of Panamá. My husband, Alfredo Membache, and I live in the village of Aruza. [Aruza is in central Darién, more than a half day’s dugout canoe trip from any road.] I have two children. Alfredo and I are staying at my sister’s house near Panamá City to help her with her weaving.

I was born in the village of Capeti, on June 17,1977. I have eight brothers and sisters. Capeti is located on the Rio Tuira in central Darién Province, and my village of Aruza is down river, a little nearer to the Colombian border.

I began weaving at age 14. I apprenticed mainly with friends and other adult women. I’m most content making geometric designs in oval shapes. Of course ovals are more difficult than round forms. It’s a structure that requires the most careful technical skill and concentration. I have two reasons. First, because I like to create difficult challenges for myself, and, second, because I am enchanted with the creative process

I consider very important the promotion and spreading of our culture as expressed in our basketry art. Any person or organization who contributes to this cause makes a great impact on our sense of international pride. I, like many other Wounaan women, developed agricultural and farming subsistence skills before becoming an artisan. Also, for many years I have performed the faithful duties of a church member, aiding my community as I have with individual families, especially the moral and political education of children and young people. Furthermore, I am recognized in my community as being “la artista” who encourages and supports other women to follow this same example, by teaching and organizing seminars.

Black, chocolate brown, and gray are my favorite colors because they are so elegant. To get the dyes, I use the asafran, p’ucham and bejuco plants. In this basket, the green is from soliman. Even though I can earn a lot of money from a basket, for me, as a mother, and also working for my family, it is the extreme poverty around me and the social injustice of being an indigenous person. The Panamanian government has only recently recognized us as “people.”

I feel very good when I can help by sharing my knowledge with others. But it is sad that I cannot help all the families of my community. Because I always work long hours, it’s very difficult to take care of the household necessities and still be there for other women, too.

I’m not involved in activities like [government]. Maybe at some time. Not now. [My dream for myself is] to be a humble artist who is most satisfied by helping her village. To achieve—by industriousness and hard work—a good house and to support the construction of my church. [My dream for my children is] to obtain for them a good background in secular studies, particularly a superior education that focuses on public speaking. [And for my people] to see better days of subsistence [economically] and to preserve the cultural values and traditions.

I hope that people will learn to appreciate and value our [basketry] art, our culture and give us their support as well.

~ 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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