Perched Birds Basket

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For weavers and collectors, pictorial motifs are called "natura" due to the fact that they are inspired by their natural surroundings. In fact, these designs often include local flowers, trees, birds, ocelots, jaguars, iguanas, and other flora and fauna native to the Darién rainforest. Pictorial designs come in a variety of styles, some perfect renditions of the floral subject matter the weaver is conveying, and some an artistic interpretation of the flora using angular shapes and shaded background. Here a pair of perching birds pay tribute to the incredible diversity of avian life found in the rainforests of Central America. Handmade by artists of the indigenous Wounaan people of Panama and Colombia using only natural materials gathered in the Darién rainforest. Baskets as intricate as this one can take weeks, even months, to create using thin strips of palm frond and needles to achieve the tightly woven pattern.

Museum Story

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) has opened its first bilingual exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. "Barro Colorado Island: 100 Years of Discovery and Wonder," STRI's first major exhibition on the National Mall, celebrates 100 years of tropical forest research on Barro Colorado Island in Panama, the world's oldest continuously studied tropical forest.


  • Each basket is one-of-a-kind
  • Palm fronds
  • Approximately 5"W x 5"H
  • Keep away from sunlight as the vegetal dyes may fade in direct sunlight.
  • Made in Panama