WEAVING TRADITIONS OF THE DARIEN JUNGLE
Friday, August 5th, 2016
Basket weaving has been a traditional craft of the Wounaan and Embera people of Panama for generations. Mennonite missionaries working in the Darien region of Panama in the early 1970’s encouraged the Wounaan and Embera people to sell their baskets and carvings. At that time, American women living in the Canal Zone became collectors of these baskets. Income from their crafts helped many Panamanian artisans gain entrance to the cash society that existed outside their villages. Now, many of these tribal people are trying to find a balance between maintaining traditional lifestyles and entering into the modern world. Income from basket weaving has provided a bridge for many, yet there is still a great deal of impoverishment within these tribes.
This exhibition will feature a portion of the private collection of Dairen baskets belonging to local collectors, Chuck and Patty McLure, as well as photographs of the Wounaan and Embera people. Photographs and a small selection of these baskets will be available for purchase, with 100% of the proceeds going directly back to the villages.