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Pet Collars Help Embera Indian Tribe


ZanyZak, designers of amazingly beautiful, hand-crafted animal collars, have announced that they will be donating fifty percent of their proceeds from collar sales to the Educational Fund for Children of the Embera Tribe in Panama.

Pink beaded cat collarPetsWeekly recently received samples of these products for review and we can tell you ourselves how absolutely beautiful they are. The Abbey is a beautiful pink beaded collar that is specially designed for our spoiled felines. The Cog looks wonderful in hers!

The Apache beaded collar sports a black base, highlighted with silver conchos and blue turqouise beads that our lighter colored dog, Cheiss is going to love.

Tristan received The Commanche, handmade with white and turquoise beads, with a red bead as a highlight. He looks like he’s really dog from the Southwest now!

Not only does Zany Zak offer a complete line of high quality, artistic, and inspirational collars and leashes, they give back to their community and assist many others in need. After releasing the Pretty in Pink collar in September of 2009, which donates 25% of the proceeds to the breast cancer research, Zany Zak owner, Lori Burt wanted to extend her philanthropic effort to the Emberá Tribe.

They have now unleashed yet another handmade collar with a design inspired by the Emberá Indian tribe in Panama. The local company is donating half of the proceeds from the collar to the tribe’s Educational Fund. Burt decided to set a goal to help the Emberá people raise money for the children’s educational fund.

“I believe in giving back, and the Emberá people need a voice.  It delighted me to design a collar that truly represents their culture,” said Burt.

The Panamanian Government provides schooling up to the sixth grade in rural locations. If the children want to finish, they must leave the village.

Burt met the tribe in 2008 when she took a trip to Panama and met a woman named Anne Gordon de Barrigon. Gordon de Barrigon has a Biology degree and has worked as a zookeeper and an animal trainer for over 30 films over 20 years.  While filming End of the Spear in Panama in 2004, she fell in love with the Emberá people and married one of the members of the tribe, Otniel Barrigon.  Gordon de Barrigon currently works as a tour guide for the Emberá Indian Village and as a Dolphin Energy Practitioner in Panama.

Public education is not provided by the local government which makes it very difficult for the children to be schooled past the sixth grade, as all further education is not available in the village.  A common extension of education is available at the American missionary boarding school in the city. The expense is $110.00 a month for each student, which is cost prohibitive to the Emberá tribe. In 2008, with the help of MTV’s show, Exiled, and a Peace Corps volunteer, Anne set up an educational fund providing children the opportunity to be further their education beyond 6th grade.

“The Embera’ people have the quality of life that people in the modern world are searching for.  Everyone in the tribe is very content with the simple lives they lead, with no electricity or public services.  Even so, education is very important to help the children of the tribe succeed in their lives and with the education fund, we hope to give the children the opportunity to continue their schooling,” stated Gordon de Barrigon.

The unique Emberá collar will be added to Zany Zak’s beaded collar collection and will be available for dogs.  This collar represents the traditional designs of the Emberá tribe being made up of ivory, brown and black colored beads on a black cord, with a black side-release buckle.  The pattern also resembles some of the Emberá tribe’s handmade baskets, which are known worldwide among basket collectors for their tight weave and intricate patterns and are on display at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ.

You can order your custom, handmade collars from ZanyZak’s online store. Be sure to measure your pet’s neck correctly. There is a sizing chart on the website and you need to let them know if you are measuring your pet’s collar size, not the size of your pet’s neck. Click here for details on the sizes prior to ordering. We made the mistake of measuring our pets necks rather than their collars and it resulted in the wrong size for all of our pets. Since you can’t adjust the sizing on these collars, you need to be sure that you have the correct size on all of them.

One recommendation we would make is that you ask ZanyZak to include a quick release on their cat collars. If you have cats, you know that they tend to get caught up on things – like trees, couches, each other, their own paws. So – it’s important to have a safety latch on their collars that allow them to break free should any of that happen. We haven’t asked if they can do that, but they have been so wonderful to work with so far, that we have no doubt they will be able to provide this service.

If you’re looking for a high-quality show collar that your pets can wear out in public without any embarassment, this is the collar for you. They are unique, beautiful, and creative.

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