This is an ethnographic collection of hand-woven masks from the Darien region of Panama. They represent the cultural tradition of the Embera, an Amerindian indigenous group. In the past, masks such as these were used by the Embera in curative ceremonies to establish connections with animal spirits. Thus, the masks are representations of animals or birds. Nowadays, the masks are made available for purchase in tourist markets. In fact, tourism has revitalised the production of masks, which are now available in a variety of designs and colours. The method of construction, however, remains faithful to the fundamental techniques of the Embera basket weaving tradition.
Photographer: Dave Newbury
Copyright: University of Bristol
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