Embera Drua, Chagres River, Panama.
Canasta (Chunga fiber basket) weaving.
The weaving fiber is extracted from a palm called chunga. It is the work of men to collect the chunga.
People go into the jungle in search of palm trees. Finding them is the
easy part. The difficulty lies in getting the fibers from the top of the
palm. The tree trunks are protected by a thick layer of five-inch long
thorns. To get at the top, they cut down a different tree, lean the log
up against the palm and a designated climber scales it like a ladder to
reach the palms fronds which he cuts with a machete. Once the palms are
cut, men remove the leaves from each stalk and stack them together.
Women then strip the spiny edges off to extract the weaving fiber. The
fibers must be peeled away in thin strips for weaving. For this they
hold one end between their toes and peel off the outside edge. The fiber
is then dried and later colored with natural dyes.