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Wounaan

In addition to Costa Rican tribal arts, Galería Namu exhibits the spectacular arts of the Wounan tribe of Panama. This small, and still very traditional tribe from the rivers and trackless rainforests of the Darien region of eastern Panama, are creators of original and very well crafted pieces. The women of the tribe are renowned basket makers, weaving baskets from the split and naturally-dyed leaves of two endemic palm species. These baskets have a naturally shiny finish, and display a repertoire of different stitch patterns, colours (all natural) and designs, many of which imitate their body painting decorations.

The Wounan men are renowned for their stunning carving abilities, both in wood and ‘vegetable ivory’ (tagua nut). The gallery features amazing miniature sculptures in tagua (an egg sized, ivory-like palm seed). These self-taught artists bring an amazingly realistic rendering to their pieces of the flora and fauna of their habitat often creating a breathtaking realism and daring fineness of form. Galería Namu is proud to be the only locale in the country that exhibits Wounan baskets and tagua art and is honoured to have the works of award-winning men and women artists.