Knotted netted bag

Knotted netted bag (shigra)

Shuar people

Morona Santiago, Ecuador, 2012


What is it and what is it made of? This is a bag called a shigra, made from the leaves of the Chambira palm (Astrocaryum chambira)

How was it made? The Chambira leaves are divided into strips and placed in boiling water to soften them and lighten their colour. After this they are hung out to dry in the sun. In the picture, Cofan women are tying Chambira strips at one end before rolling them together to make twine. To make a shigra, the fibre is woven loosely and knotted.

What is it used for? Chambira twine is tough and long-lasting and the knotting makes this bag light but strong and stretchy. Rainforest people carry shigras wherever they go and fill them with fruits, vegetables and even small game when they go collecting in the forest.

Linked objects:


Chontaduro palm

Video of a bag being made: