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Woven Mask 011

Wetland Bird Mask

These woven masks of split chunga palm leaf colored with natural dyes are created by Emberá (a related, but distinct tribe from the Wounaan) basket weavers. Originally these masks, inspired by the jaibaná (medicine people or shamans), were carved from balsa wood that hung within the interior of a dwelling where rituals took place. Some masks are representations of fantastic beings, whereas others are recognizable animals. This particular mask is a more recognizable animal – a comical wetland bird – maybe a duck, or grebe with a winsome expression.

  • Tribe: Emberá, Panama
  • Type of Basket: Wall Mask
  • Size: 7 3/4″ (19.5 cm) across
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