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Greetings from Panama! My name is Marina Ehrman and I have been a professional tour guide and promoter for Panama Tourism and Travel Company since 2005. I love what I do and am proud to share what my country has to offer. It is filled with endless leisure and commercial attractions, friendly happy people who open their doors to all visitors. Panama is a country of incomparable natural beauty with a variety of tourist attractions, beautiful beaches in the Pacific and Caribbean. The tropical climate year round with its diversified flora, fauna and indigenous groups make it one of the most important of Ecotourism in Latin America. I invite you to know our country’s history, culture and also enjoy the cuisine, folklore and traditions that only a place in the world can provide………Panama! Contact me and I’ll organize your visit and will be happy to welcome you in Panama. For more information on Panama, follow my Facebook page and my blog. Visit
Showing posts with label Panama Dress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Panama Dress. Show all posts

The Pollera from Panama

The Pollera the national costume of Panama and one of the most beautiful and most admired typical dresses of the world.

The formal pollera, used for festive occasions and holidays, is made of fine white linen, cambric or voile. At least 12 yards of material is used to make a pollera. A traditional pollera has a pure white background so that the blended tints of embroidered designs will stand out. These designs traditionally are of flowers, birds, garlands, or other combinations of designs, preferably of native origin and feeling. Exquisite designs are made in cross-stitch or by the use of a more elegant needlework known as "talco en sombra," or applique which is characteristic of Panama. It consists of two pieces of material sewn together. A design is made on one piece of the fabric, the design is then carefully cut out and its edges turned under and sewn to the background with tiny invisible stitches.

The formal pollera consists of the blouse (wider than the montuna blouse), the skirt and the petticoat or petticoats, as one to as many as three are worn under the gown. The blouse of all three polleras is white and worn off the shoulder. For the formal dress, the blouse has a neck band at the top of the bodice made of the traditional "mundillo," a fine handmade bone lace made in the Interior of Panama, which is edged with a heavier lace. The band has openings in the front and in the back, where wool pompons are placed. The neck band is interwoven with wool, the same color as the pompons. Two ribbons, called "gallardetes," hang from the waist, one in front and one in the back, and match the color of the wool. The heelless shoes, soft slippers in velveteen or satin, are also the same color as the wool pompons. No stockings are worn

A beautifully embroidered ruffle of fine wide Valencian lace is attached to the mundillo band and falls to the middle of the bodice. Another ruffle is added under the first one and this falls to the waist, or to a little lower than the waist. Both of these ruffles are exquisitely embroidered or worked in applique. The blouse has push-up sleeves with an embroidered ruffle, also trimmed in lace.

The skirt of the formal pollera is always made of fine white material, fine enough for the handwork on the petticoats to show through. It is loose, full and long, reaching the ankles. The skirt is put together in two pieces; the upper section comes to the knees and is separated by an insertion of mundillo lace, with the material heavily gathered so it can be spread out and be admired. Twice as much fabric goes into the lower part of the skirt, making a circle. The edge of the skirt is trimmed with about 25 yards of lace, 4 or 5 inches wide. The magnificent skirt is gathered at the waist and tied by four narrow ribbons, two crossing in the front and two in the back, running through the button holes of two gold buttons at either side of the waist.

The petticoats are handmade of very fine white linen, as elaborate as the skirt, with laces, cutwork and embroidery.

The feet of the dressed up woman, are covered with shoes made from velvet, and don't have heels. This shoes, back in the times of the aristocracy, were adorned with gold clasps and it holds onto the feet with laces, and embroideries, making a contrast with the beauty and richness of the gold jewelry and the tipico dress.

The hairdress is an important part of the pollera. The hair is parted in the center and tightly pulled back behind the ears, forming two braids. The braids are covered with several pairs of tembleques
The woman’s head is decorated with curved combs, decorated in gold filigree; a main large tortoise shell comb decorated with repouss√© or engraved gold strips; and small decorative gold square temple patches (reminiscent of pain patches). Very elaborate gold earrings of a great variety are also worn. Around the combs on both sides and on the back of the head, natural white carnations are worn, or more commonly, delicate custom pearl bead flower, butterfly, or dragonfly shapes with gold or silver wire twists on pins cover the hair, resulting in a beautiful, elegant headdress.

About the jewelry that she carries, these are so attractive, of luxurious and expensive design, that anyone could say that the panamanian woman dressed with a pollera is one of riches, however, every piece, necklace, ring and peineta forms a part of her legacy that is kept and that will adorn the polleras of future generations.

Around the neck, a gold filigree choker with small flower shapes, a slightly longer black ribbon choker with a coin modal or a golden cross. The main necklace is the long, Flat Chain with flat intertwined links with beautiful pendants that hangs around mid-chest level. The Betwitching Chain, very similar to the flat chain necklace, despite being of a similar length, can be gathered in the palm of the hand. The Solomon chain, made of links in the shape of columns; the scapular and the rosary, all delicate and made of gold, also hang gracefully from the neck.