The Story of Mask Marielys
This one-off mask was entirely handmade by a woman from the Wounaan/Embera ethnic group in the heart of the rainforest in Panama, close to the Colombian border. This mask is made from "chunga" palm leaves, which are harvested by the tribal women. The palm is split, dried and whitened in the sun and then dyed with plant-based dyes.
This is a unique piece, freely made and designed by an indigenous artist in exactly the same way as masks are made for shamanic rituals. But this mask has never been used or blessed for rituals by a shaman. It comes directly from the artist to you.
The mask was made for Ethic et Tropic. Corinne Bally, founder of Ethic & Tropic, personally met the craftswomen who made it and paid the artists herself, without any intermediaries. This mask is the result of an exceptional, unusual collaboration between the craftswomen and Corinne Bally.
Artists draw their inspiration from colourful animals, mythical creatures or pre-Columbian designs. Their environment and their ancient beliefs give life to these creations, which are unique in the world.
Making a mask takes the women long hours of work. Corinne Bally visits the artists several times a year and travels upriver by canoe to reach these Wounaan and Embera villages in the jungle. She stays with the craftswomen in the rainforest.
Every piece is rare and precious. Let yourself be overwhelmed by its magic.
You can read the full, fascinating (hi)story of the masks here.
Check out our other Ethic & Tropic Masks as well!