Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Basket Study

[Underside of Pulpo Swimming in Coral silk-stitch Wounaan Hösig Di basket via]

[Full view of Pulpo Swimming in Coral basket via]

Just before the holiday break, I mentioned Atlanta's upcoming Cathedral Antiques Show. To recap, one of the participating dealers, Howard I. Price Fine II Art, is expected to bring a selection of fine Wounaan baskets from Panama and I'm really looking forward to studying the wares in person. But while I wait to do my own field report, I've been reading about the skilled women who make these intricately patterned pieces. is a terrific resource, with helpful facts and stunning examples for sale. And last summer, Sandra Maitland contributed to HandEye magazine a story about her visit with the Wounaan Indians. The online version is well worth a look.

Stylistically, the basket patterns are typically head-spinning geometrics or pictorials with vibrant birds and florals representative of rural Latin America. Shown above, though, is an octopus swimming in coral -- so highly stylized that it almost blurs the line between geometric and organic pattern.

[Cultural Black and White via] 

 [Panama basket from H. I. Price II Fine Art.]

 [Unidentified artist with her pictorial basket via HandEye and the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.]


The Devoted Classicist said...

Truly remarkable!

redbrickbuilding said...

I always learn something new when I read your blog. Thank you for that!

Style Court said...

RedBrick -- great to hear! Thank you.

John -- I really can't wait to see them in person!