Our visit to a Kuna Island to see where and how they live was for me, a highlight of the Central American trip. There are over 50,000 of the Kuna Indians living in the San Blas archipelago on several different islands. They have had independence since the early 20th century and are extremely proud of their heritage, their traditions and what they have achieved. In saying that they are an extremely friendly people who have a playful, sweet nature. When we stepped off the boat, we were greeted by six squealing young girls who immediately hugged our legs and wanted to hold our hands. They performed headstands for us, posed together, giggled a lot and tickled each other as we walked about. The island’s Arts and Crafts Professor was introduced to us and showed us the various types of handicrafts which Kuna produce. When you turn 16, you can choose whether to join the Professor’s academy and spend 3 years as his student. If you do, you study and practise sewing mola’s (the embroidered squares of fabric which they are famous for), making hammocks, molding clay pots, weaving ropes and making instruments.
The Kuna – A people who would not kneel
July 20, 2009