THE KUNA CULTURES

 

By

Gilberto Alemancia

gilbert04@yahoo.com

 

 

The KUNA YALA COMARCA, created in 1938, was declared a rserve in 1957. The region covers an area of 5,470 km2, of which 2,250m2 are found in the Atlantic Ocean, comprising of cays, reefs and islands.The kuna culture is found in two different geographical locations. The principal group is found in an area of the Caribbean Sea, the “KUNA YALA COMARCA”, previously known as San Blas island. This area has a population of around 54,000. Secondary groups are found on the shores of Lake Bayano and the banks of the River Chucunaque.  More kuna communities are found close to the Colombian border and further groups are found in Colombia itself.

 

Kuna Yala has 292 natural and cultural attractions: more than any other place in Panama. The area offers an impressive variety of attraction such as beaches as beautiful as the finest in the Caribbean, cultural tourism, hiking, bird watching, kayaking and much more.  There are 365 islands covered with exuberant green vegetation and fringed with white sand beaches, creating a unique scenic beauty. This, together with the traditions maintained by the Kunas, makes the area undoubtedly one of the most exciting destinations in Panama.  The Kuna culture is open to receiving visitors into their culture. The most eye-catching characteristic of the Kuna people is their traditional cloting. In the matriarchal society, women have a high status in society and since they provide children and a consequent future workforce, they are extravagantly adorned with clothing and jewelry.