San Blas in Panama

Take Off
Jörgen Wennberg
Sun 24 Jan 2016 04:26
panama-flag.gif        san-blas-islands.gif

The islands of the San Blas archipelago are strung out along the Caribbean coast of Panama from the Golfo de San Blas nearly all the way to the Colombian border.

San Blas are a series of 378 islands of which only around 49 are inhabited by the fiercely independent Guna indians. The native Guna indians run all the islands as an autonomous province, with minimal interference from the national government. They have maintained their own economic system, language, customs and culture.

The San Blas islands are famous for their arts and crafts. In particular, is the mola, made with rainbow coloured fabrics, emblazoned with fish, birds, jungle animals and geoemetric islands.  

The Guna culture: it is the woman who rules the social and family life. They choose their husbands and the husband moves into their wives home. However the men rule the islands and each islans has its own “chief”.
The Guna wanting to preserve their culture as it is, withou any interference from any western culture, they established in 1925 a law forbidding the Guna people to marry any other non-Guna person. This means too that there can occur albinos, however we did not see any albinos.