Chunga ( The Art of Weaving Chunga Baskets by the EMBERA )
Within the Panama rain forest there are varieties of plants, trees and palms. Among the most important we can mention the CHUNGA palm, or in the EMBERA “JIWA” dialect. It is a palm that grows very tall and has many thorns. The Emberá women, by inheritance from their ancestors, have learned to weave the beautiful fiber baskets of dodgy leaves. The chunga buds are cut first . Later, they are watered and dryed out in the sun. After drying all the fibers, are boiled to remove the green color. After this process the weaving of baskets starts with a duration to finish a basket from 7 to 180 days. The quality of choice determines your braid. Quality baskets, which take longer to finish, are very thin and hard. Medium quality baskets have a braid that is not as fine. All colors used in dying the fibers are natural, the red color comes from achiote, the yellow comes from the yuquilla, and the black comes from the cocobolo and black earrth. These colors do not fade or stain.