The Wounaan Indians of the Darien Rainforest in Panama are some of the finest basket weavers in the world. Using the Chunga palm and other plant materials, they weave utilitarian baskets, ceremonial pieces, and the most beautiful and intricate basketry depicting plants and animals, fish and flowers, insects and geometric patterns.
The Wounaan translate their belief in the harmony in nature by transforming organic materials into baskets. They see "spirit" and "nature" as inseparable.
The Wounaan's way of life is in peril for their rainforest home, the Darien, may be paved for the Pan American Highway.
Above: Photograph by David O. Marlow, from Weaving the Scarlet Macaw by Charlotte Meares and Lorran Meares. Used with permission.
On the home page: Photograph (detail) by Eric Swanson, from Weaving the Scarlet Macaw by Charlotte Meares and Lorran Meares. Used with permission.