Perme and Anacachuna

Pacific Bliss
Colin Price
Thu 23 Sep 2010 16:57
Perme and Anachucuna
San Blas and the Kuna people have been much talked about since we started planning our trip.  Other folk who have been here raved about it, infact often site it as one of the finest places on their circumnavigation.  When we got to the Carribean we met boats who where missing out the Carribean and heading straight down here.  The culture is strong, and pretty closed to westerners.  During the 30's in order to preserve there community there was a cull of babies who where of mixed race in order to protect there culture.  The Islands themselves are totally picturesque, white sand,  palm fringed islands surrounded by sparkling azure blue sea,  all a bit of a clichee, and to top it off, no hotels and very few tourists find there way here.

We have been on our own for 3 weeks now which has been fun,  the children ask on a daily basis when they are going to see the boys on Bonaire and the Blue Sky kids.  But with the international language of football, on the shore, Cosmo now seems really rather happy.

Our arrival in Perme was really rather fraught,  and getting into harbour when the electronic map told us we're in the right place but in fact we entering coral infested waters in the bay 1mile south of where we should be.  Colin had to hit the brakes by slaming in to full throtal reverse pretty damn quick and managed to just save our rudders.  At the entrance to the correct bay there was a trade boat in a state of decay looking like it had been trying to enter the bay and had hit the reef.  It was about 5 pm and the sunlight was directly in our face so watching out for coral heads was impossible unless you were 3 meters from them, very very hairy.  But we did do what the book tell you not to do, and whilst we avoided near disaster are nerves where shot and now vowing never to believe seamaps when it comes to coral and do what we are told to do and only travel into a coral harbour when the sun in high in the sky.
So given we came into at the wrong place we saw another village Anachucuna from the water, It appeared to generate high excitement with children squeeling ular and grown-ups waving there arms, and we thought they were just being friendly .......
Once we had found our way to the safe anchorage off the village of Perme we tidied the boat quickly and whizzed on to shore before dark, so we could be granted permission from the Chief (Sialas) to anchor off his village.
Having pulled up on the beach the first man we met claimed to be the Sialas and invited us to his house.  Turns out he is our age with 4 children a modest amount for the average kuna.  With our still very limited spanish are visit to Perme was a little confusing no one in the two villages spoke any English and as the Kuna people have a propensity to act like Chinese and Indian natives when a question is asked and they don't understand what has been asked (i.e often) they just nod and say 'Si'  so we're very unsure about what actually happened or who we where with all the time in Perme.
We did however have our baptism with the Kuna Ladies and there Love for family photographs.  The ladies where very able to request our  what they would like, but given it's a matriacal society it of little to no surprise.  So for 1 of our 3 days we become family portaitors,  only we so green at this stage we're not just taking a family picture we're taking individual photos of  an extended family, but it's an experience.  Mrs Kuna Bossy boots has all the boys looking like boys from the hood whilst the girls look beautiful and traditional with beaded legs and arms, beautiful molas and colourful animal print sarongs.  Colin and I had to contain our giggles when bossy boots husband emerged from the bamboo hut looking like a gangster/rapper.  When we returned the following day to produce our works amidst the excitement of seeing the photos there was a lot of sturn expressions from Bossy Pants,  only to demand other images,  so after having our knuckles rapped and not so much as a thank you we were dispatched to produce more images.
Dispite our learning experience we enjoyed our time in Perme,  when you walk through the village folk whole families come out of there compound to great you, and the kids had a great time.  Kuna kids mob you,  and whilst there curiosity is huge the girls in particular are not sure about being touched by strange white lady.  But as per usual Cosmo,  known in Kuna as 'Cosman', what ever it means it always seems to make them laugh and nod in agreement.
We left Perme a little wiser about Kuna society. 
1) they live in a near communist society so asking for something they want is not considered rude.  On one particular visit from the cheif and his family, after me handing over lots of things we no longer wanted but I knew would be cherrished by them,  the Sialas wife asked if she could have my ships plastic glass-wear,  it was at this point I was happy to delivery a no.  and colin next time we met up asked for Plantain the request was
The kids played with some 'natives' and we had them onboard.  Not sure they liked western cereal and milk though.
  All in the boat and then sinking it.
  Grumpy Kuna ladies came to get their $10 for the anchoring fee.
 A couple of boob jobs