A Family of Indigenous Artisans Puts Their Crafts in the Global Arena

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A family of indegenous artists in Panama have launched a new website about their products.

The Carpio family, of the Wounaan indigenous group in Panama have recently launched their own website: carpioarte.com. They are the first group of Wounaan artisans to create a website selling handcrafts directly without middlemen.

The Carpio family formed its cooperative a few years ago in an effort to receive more equitable prices for their crafts. Binder Carpio says: "It used to be that dealers came to our village to buy our crafts at a fraction of the price and then marked them up many times to sell to resell to tourists." The family of 2 sisters and three brothers started a store in Panama City where they sell their crafts directly.

"Our village is very remote, and we still live in our traditional ways, but sometimes tourist groups would come visit us. Even when we sold directly to the tourists, the tourism company would take a very large cut. We decided that to be able to make a living, our family should try to create our own business," added Binder. "We would like to reach out to clients around the world, and that's why we created this website."

Carpioarte.com contains photographs of the artwork of the Carpio family as well as biographical information. The website discusses the procedures involved in the creation of cocobolo wood and tagua seed carvings as well as traditional woven baskets. The website is not yet set up with an e-commerce system, but clients are encouraged to develop a relationship with the Carpio artsists through phone and email.

About Carpio Arte
Carpio Arte is an indigenous family owned and run cooperative selling traditional, handmade crafts in Panama.

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Binder Carpio
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