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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 guna yala. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guna yala. Show all posts

Achutupu’s historic Guna Cementery

A visit to Achutupu’s historic cemetery gives our guests a unique insight into Guna views of life and death.  It is up-river in an undulating,elevated mainland location at the edge of the rainforest (burial is impossible on the low lying coral reef occupied by Achutupu’s community). 

The funeral corteges arrive here by canoe, and then wind their way through dense growth until, finally, scattered palm roofs come into view between the trees, the open shelters over the graves.

In the Guna burial ritual the deceased is interred in a hammock suspended between two upright poles in a previously prepared  excavation.  The self- supported protective covering becomes a flat platform  upon which are placed floral decorations and personal items in homage to the loved one.

A flag mounted outside a particular tomb denotes that it houses the remains of a respected community leader.   .

You will leave the green tranquillity of this hallowed setting with many images to store in your memory

Guna Yala : Achutupu Island

Achutupu is an Island  in Guna Yala. The island is home to a dense population of Guna people: one of the most densely populated in Guna Yala. It is a popular gateway to the rest of Guna Yala, though there is no place for tourists to stay the night.

Walking around Achutupu can be an interesting experience. All the women are dressed in Guna's traditional costume. Children in varying states of undress play in the streets and on the beaches. Many families own pigs.

Despite obvious overcrowding, islanders reserve space for a basketball court which, with the nearby stores, is the hub of local life. There is also a Gathering House, where the community governs its affairs. The Chicha House is the other important public building and is where islanders celebrate the coming-of-age of their girls.

What to do in Achutupu ?

  • Spend a day observing traditional Guna village life
  • Hire a boat to take you to one of the many surrounding islands
  • Ask about the large community gathering house in the center of the island: many important Guna   events take place here.

  • Gunas Handcraft

    Mola Art, also called Guna Mola, is an amazing creation by the women of the Guna tribe from Central America. Living directly on the Guna Yala Islands of Panama, these women create some of the most gorgeous pieces of art imaginable. Using a special appliqué process called “reverse appliqué” the women take numerous layers of cloth, each of varying color. These layers are then stitched together loosely while the top layers are fine-tipped cut with special scissors. The cut edges are then folded back at which time they are stitched to the bottom layer.

    The word Mola translates into “blouse”. Although Mola Art was originally artwork done on women’s blouses as a means of adding beautiful color and design, today you will find Mola Art done on more than just blouses and in many cases, used as an actual form of art that is framed and proudly displayed. The wonderful aspect of the Mola pieces is that they are all so unique and vibrant. Women have the freedom to create beautiful designs of nature, which today, has become an increasingly popular type of apparel worn in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

    Most pieces consist of some type of motif constructed on several layers. As the designs are made, the cutting process exposes the underlying colors. While it mightsound simple, once you have seen Mola art, you can see that this is truly a developed skill. This method of cutting instead of drawing is one aspect that makes each design unique. Once the piece is complete, the panels are then used to create both front and back pieces for the blouse. This way, the Guna Indian women looked beautiful both coming and going.

    The nice aspect of Mola art is that so many different designs could be used. For instance, common motifs would include flowers, fish, crab, parrots, fish, squirrel, monkey, dolphin, and much more. Typically, you find the chosen design representing nature and things that are a part of the women’s everyday life. However, what is so stunning is that regardless of the design, the colors are gorgeous – bright and vivid. The detailing is what makes the Mola art so interesting, each design meticulously designed to impress. In fact, no matter how many blouses or other art forms are made, there are never two designs exactly alike.
    Other things commonly seen in the Mola art is anything to do with medicine, politics, dreams, fantasy, legends, imaginations, and literally anything that the woman experiences or observes. Because of this, you see women using the things around them, as well as things important in their life, both pleasure and work. Then, these designs are constructed into magnificent geometric and abstract motifs. Since each woman envisions the completed piece in her own mind, they are all so amazing and different. Therefore, even if 10 women created monkey motifs, each would ultimately be unique.

    The most important thing is that the Mola art should be beautiful, appearing realistic, and three-dimensional. The woman will take her design of choice, adding her own personality or feelings into the creation. For that reason, if she were happy one day and made a bird motif but sad the next day, again making a bird motif, each design would be different.

    Because Mola art could easily be viewed along with a fine painting, there are many masterpieces hanging in museums as actual art. The stitches are perfect, making the completed pieces spectacular. Keep in mind that each of the Mola art pieces measure 16 x 13 inches, meaning whether the design were an elephant, flower, or something mythological, the size would be the same. Although difficult to find in most countries, getting your hands on a Mola blouse or piece of artwork is a lifetime treasure

    Kuna Yala or Guna Yala ?

    In October 2011 the Panamanian Government changed the name Kuna Yala for Guna Yala , the name means "Guna-land" or "Guna mountain" in the Guna language.

    The Guna people's claim that in their native language there was no equivalent to the letter "K" and that the official name should be "Guna Yala

    The objective is not to create a new language but to clear away incongruities from the past which had made the writing and teaching of the unique Guna tongue difficult and confusing. In order to achieve, the dictionary uses a revised alphabet (10 consonants, 5 vowels) to better meet the morphological-phonological requirements in native word formation and meaning, often missing in the previous rather mixed orthography of Guna and Spanish.