Mangrove behind the mask
The Embera live in the rain forest of Darien on Panama’s southwest Pacific coast, a remote region made up of small villages connected through an intricate system of mangroves and rivers. The tribal people are known for their dyed palm-fiber masks, often created in the shape of jungle birds. Traditionally, the masks were used in religious ceremonies to establish bonds with animal spirits. While some of this traditional use continues, there has been a renewed interest in mask creation along with increased eco-tourism to the region.
These fascinating masks are the subject of Embera Masks of Panama, a new exhibit that opens with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, at the Traveler’s Market in the DeVargas Center, 153-B Paseo de Peralta. That same night, the market will feature two lectures, a 6 p.m. presentation by curator Carrie Haley on “Documenting Your Collection” and a 6:30 p.m. talk by Shamlu Dudeja on the “Kantha Embroidery of India.” The exhibit runs through Aug. 1. For more information or reservations, call 989-7667.