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About Us

embera Wounaan Lady

The Wounaan People

The Wounaan are an indigenous people that are native to the jungles of Southwest Panama, in a region called Darien and northern Colombia. We live to this day in our traditional ways along rivers in raised, reed and palm huts. As a culture, we value our oneness with nature and our families above all else. The Wounaan are very similar to the Embera: we are native to the same lands and share the same cultures. The distinguishing factor is the language we speak.

The Carpio Family

Carpio Arte Wounaan family artisans

We are an artisan group of 3 brothers and two sisters, creating traditional original Wounaan art. We are bridging two worlds: the developed world of Panama City and the foreign tourists and our roots in the jungle along the river – the place we consider home. We are working together to bring our art to the world.

In the business of indigenous handcrafts in Panama, usually dealers and shop owners come to our village and buy our crafts and then re-sell them to tourists. Sometimes, tourists themselves will visit our villages as part of an ethno tourism experience and buy crafts then, but that is unpredictable. We decided to do things differently: go to Panama City and open a store ourselves, to eliminate middle men, increase our abilities to make a living from our art, and have a warmer and more direct relationship with the end users of our creations.

Meet the Artists

Wounaan artisanWounaan artistcecelio Embera ArtisanEbronia Wounaan ArtistYusti Wounaan Artist
     Binder Carpio         Delisa Carpio         Cécilio Tocamo          Ebronia Carpio     Yusti Carpio