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I was impressed by this small, exquisite hosig di.  it is a basket made by Delisa Membache, Wounaan, that makes me think of Southwestern Indian designs.  Delisa called the design “cultura”, and the geometric figures on the bottom are traditional chin … Continue reading

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Happy New Year, Rosalina!

When the phone rang this morning, it was Rosalina calling from her village on the Upper Chagres River in Panama to wish us a Happy New Year!  She has always been a great help to me and always makes me smile.Image

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Rosalina and Madelaine

Rosalina and Madelaine were featured on the cover of my book almost ten years ago.  She has certainly grown up.

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Wounaan Rainforest Basket website update

I’m updating the website – – and enjoying the look and feel of all the gorgeous baskets the Wounaan have woven for me in Panama.

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Darien Rainforest

The dense, brilliant green of the Darien Rainforest of Panama.

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Return from Panama

We just returned from four months in Panama where we visited Wounaan friends, collected more hosig di baskets, and learned about a new dye source called nazareno.

This vivid purple-pink color is one I had never seen before as a natural dye on a basket.  It comes from the bark shavings of the jacaranda tree (jacaranda copaia) which are boiled in water with chunga; the tree is locally called “nazareno”.  Its flowers are also a vivid purple.

Rosalina Tascon, the Wounaan weaver, is holding this hosig di basket which she had recently made.   You can tell from her dress that she likes the bright combination of purple pink and red.

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Hello world!

Welcome to basketsofpanama!  I first visited Panama in 1972 and lived there for many years. Now I want to share my love for the hosig di baskets made by the Wounaan and Embera Indians in the Darien Rainforest of Panama.   Darien Rainforest Basketry is the book I wrote in 2002 about these Indians and their fine basketry, since there was nothing in print available about them.  I have also gotten to know a number of Wounaan Indians, and I always find they have made new and ever more beautiful baskets.  The baskets and book can be seen at

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