This woven mask of split chunga palm leaf, decorated with natural dyes was created by an Emberá (a related, but distinct tribe from the Wounaan tribe) basket weaver. Originally, masks such as this were inspired by the jaibaná (medicine people, or shamans) and carved from balsa wood; those masks hung around the interior of a dwelling where rituals took place.
Today, many of the Emberá woven masks are representations of fantastic beings, whereas others are recognizable animals. This particular mask is a wisome boa constrictor. This enigmatic piece, with a handsome woven geometric patterning, really attracts one’s attention to this mask.