Glenn Green Galleries

Santa Fe - Tesuque Gallery Hours:
Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm
Sundays by appointment (505) 820-0008

Wounaan Baskets

Wounaan Baskets

Rain forest baskets

The baskets are made by the Wounaan Indians from the Darien and Rain Forest in Panama.

The Wounaan believe they emerged from the palm tree. They weave baskets from palm fiber and use natural dyes. The dyes are made from wood, plants and earth. To achieve a particular color takes weeks.

The rain forest baskets are of the highest quality to be found anywhere in the world. Comparable to the North American Pomo and Panamint baskets, widely considered as the best weavers in the world. The Wounaan are the finest weavers working today.

The area in which they live is extremely remote and dangerous to reach. From Panama City it may take between two to five days by plane and boat. There is guerrilla activity, drug smuggling and wildlife to complicate to travel to this region.

Since 1993, Glenn Green Galleries has exhibited these beautiful works of art. Our supplier is the third generation of his family to work with this tribe and to encourage their crafts.

Wounaan Baskets
Wounaan Baskets
The Wounaan and Embera Indians from the Darien jungles of Panama are talented artists and are famous for weaving beautiful baskets. The baskets range from simple utilitarian to prize masterpieces that are intricate and design and complex in weave. The basket colors are all 100 percent natural and are extracted from fruits, leaves, tree bark and other natural products found in the jungle. The dye process is painstakingly tedious and often requires weeks to obtain a particular color. The motifs are Atlantic Native American Indian designs and used throughout the Western Hemisphere (including what is now the American Southwest) in pre-Columbian pottery and rock drawings. Today, both sexes of the Wounaan and Embera Indians continue to use any of the basket designs in their body painting and tattooing ceremonies. Based on strong cultural traditions, the Wounaan and Embera Indians are racially pure and inter tribal and mixed-race are virtually nonexistent. The Darien cultures of the Wounaan and Embera Indians are intact and many tribesmen live today just as their ancestors did when Europeans came to the Americas. The Wounaan and Embera Indians continue to live harmoniously with nature in Darien Rain forests and have few skills this to cope with the demands of the encroaching modern world. The purchase of these unique baskets provides an alternative, yet direct, income, to the Wounaan Embera Indian, and further reduces the need to destroy the Darien Rain Forest.