Masks by Ethic & Tropic
Ethic & Tropic offers art and decorative objects, unique pieces handmade in the heart of the tropical forest in Central America by the indigenous women of two small tribes between Panama and Colombia.
The masks originally made for the shamanic rituals are burnt after they have "danced"; for this reason old pieces cannot be found. Moreover, the shamanic rituals are less frequent these days. It is unusual to find these kind of masks.
The meeting with the women from the Wounaan and Embera tribes have allowed to save the ancestral technique and create an artisanal activity -an important income source for women-, generating an art production and being faithful to the way the ritual masks are made.
These masks are made in the heart of the rainforest.
Women work freely and at their own pace for Ethic & Tropic, they have no limits in the use of their creativity. Ethic & Tropic's only requirement is to produce the best quality, using authentic natural materials and dyes.
Corinne Bally, founder of Ethic & Tropic, explains:
"They don´t travel; I go from village to village and I know all indigenous craftswomen. Nowadays there are hundreds of them. We all meet and get ready the novelties. During my visit I stay in the women's home in the heart of the jungle. I don´t have any intermediary to pass on the orders, nor to pick them up, nor pay the artisans. I pay directly each woman for their work. The coordinators of each village are indigenous from that same village, I keep in touch with them permanently."
The income is a great opportunity for the community. This worthy and traditional work allows them to stay in their original settlement, away from the cities. Without Ethic & Tropic both the masks and the techniques used would be disappearing. The masks are used in shamanic rituals and burned after and unfortunately this rituals are dwindling.