What You didn’t know about Colombia – Werregue Art from the Wounaan People

In Colombia, you can find beautiful and special decorative objects made from Werregue, a strong and versatile palm fiber. These objects are handmade by the Wounaan indigenous community, living near the San Juan River in Colombia and Panama. The palm is grown in mangrove swamps, so the Wounaan men gather the plant, and then the women make the thread and design and make the crafts using traditional techniques.
The earliest baskets were black and white, and the design was borrowed from the patterns the Wounaan people used for body painting. As the Wounaan learned how to dye the palm leaves with various plants and bark, colorful patterns started emerging and now they excel in weaving more complex rainforest designs such as flowers, hummingbirds, butterflies, parrots, toucans, jaguar tracks, and bats.
Making these crafts is not only a way to preserve their culture but also a source of income for the community through trade with other cultures.
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