Werregue basketry is a form of weaving unique to Colombia, specifically to the Choco region, the only department of Colombia with borders on both the Pacific and Atlantic ocean.
This area is one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. Home to the famed golden poisonous frog, toucans, jaguars and within the wild waters of the pacific coastline a host of marine life including turtles and humpback whales in birthing season.
The Werregue palm used for this unique weaving is a slow growing palm native to this region of Colombia and the neighbouring Panama. This tradition of weaving comes from the indigenous Wounaan, who first wove baskets to carry their produce and developed such a tight and intricate system of weaving that it is claimed could carry water and other liquids.
The werregue palm is stripped, dried and dyed with native plants before being woven. The palm is twisted into a very fine thread and then woven using a needle. The baskets are formed first by building coils made up of this same palm bunched together in individual strips, and then the weaving is done using a needle, each layer of weaving being built upon the last coil.
The unique ness of these pieces is found in their beautiful bold designs, and the incredible intricacy and density of the weaving.
Often designs are not preplanned and simply built upon as the basket is made, themes of nature and peoples relationship to it are woven throughout the baskets and many of the patterns hold special significance to the Wounaan.
While the pacific region of Colombia is a natural paradise, it has for many of the indigenous and afro communities who have lived there, been a zone of heavy conflict.
The family we work with are Wounaan who due to conflict and political activity to protect their territories were forced to leave their homes and now live in the capital Bogota.
They live as internal refugees, but whose indigenous culture and craft are very much alive within their community.
We offer small drops of baskets on our site at intervals throughout the year, so please sign up to our mail list to here when we have new pieces available. We don’t offer a permanent collection as these are all one off pieces unique in design, size and form.
If you’re looking for a large scale Werregue basket get in touch as we offer a sourcing service to those looking for large scale pieces or a collection of pieces for their home, space or project.
We also have an incredible new collection of Werregue woven mirrors on pre-order which are a collaboration between us and a family of weavers.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for all Werregue enquries and to find your dream piece.