Saturday, April 7, 2018

2018 Panama Journal - Day 7 - Part 3

Friday 2/16/18 continued.

After leaving the lagoon we headed to the town of Nuevo Vigia.  When we got to the community area Carlos told us the women had set out some of their hand crafts and we could take some time to look them over while he had a couple of the men take him across the river to see if he could find the extremely rare Dusky-backed Jacamar.

 Community area.

Locally hand-made items to purchase.

I absolutely loved this part of the trip.  At first as I walked around picking up different items and deciding what I wanted to purchase, I didn’t really notice the women standing around.  I had a couple of things to buy and was told to give my money to the Chief and he would peel off the name sticker and distribute the money to the woman who had made the item. 

It wasn’t till after I had paid that I saw some of our group having their picture taken with the women who had made their items.  I found the two women who had made my woven items - It wasn’t hard - they looked so proud and were smiling and looking at me.  Even though I had bought some hand-made items a few days ago, these women seemed so much more pleased that we were there and that we appreciated their craft.

Xiomana made this very colorful plate I purchased.

Natividad was the maker of this item. 
It's hanging on my wall at home now.

The weaving fiber is extracted from a palm called chunga.  The brown color is produced by boiling the fiber with pieces of cocobolo wood.  The black is produced with the same initial technique, after which it is submerged in dark mud from which it emerges ebony black. The fibers are then washed a few times to clean off excess dye.  The red color is extracted from the achiote berry which is also boiled with the fiber.  The yellow color comes from the extract of a root called yukiya.

Carlos came back across the river and announced that he had found the Dusky-backed Jacamar and we would go over in dugout canoes.  Plantains were unloaded and we were loaded up!


5 to a canoe.  We were in the first canoe.  
It took 3 canoes to carry all of us across.

As we headed across the river the local children were swimming around and under the canoes and having a great time heckling Carlos.  We could tell that he was a favorite among the locals.

We made it to the other side of the river and headed up the hill.

Next time:  We found the Jacamar and I made one more purchase.


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  2. AM
    The dying process seems so labor intensive. Do you know how long it took the woman to make your bowls?

    1. I don't know how long it took to make the items. I told Carlos later that it would be wonderful if they would set up a demonstration on how they make the baskets. I would love to seem them work on one. Our 2 guides were the only ones that spoke both languages so it was hard to communicate.

  3. So neat that you got to meet the women who made your items! I love buying local crafts. It is hard to do now with no where to put things!

    1. I think meeting the women makes the crafts special! I was worried about lack of space (in my luggage and in the RV) too. But I'm glad I bought them.