Kuna Culture Panamá

The Kuna are one of only a few indigenous peoples in the world to have successfully preserve their traditional, centuries old, of these interesting culture

This is reflected in a virtually autonomous form of government of the tribes and in formal observances and ancient rituals.The leaders of their local communities,sahilas, also compose regional assemblies and the Congreso General.

They establish community rules and have the responsibility to see they are observed. In socialistic style, both men and women are obliged to perform duties of a communal nature or pay a fine. Achutupu’s airport was built in this way, as was the recent dock extension. Women brush and clean the earthen streets.

There are number of public celebrations throughout the year. Among the most prominent are the elaborate rituals which mark the rites of passage for females, from birth to puberty. All of the community takes part, the fiestas last for several days and much chicha fuerte, a fermented corn brew, is consumed. These are the only times that liquor can be consumed. It is forbidden to bring in alcohol from the outside.

Kuna religious beliefs are based on the teachings of their ancient prophet, Ibeorgum who stressed the need for each individual to contribute to the wellbeing of the whole. The chapman, medicine man, is another revered authority in Kuna society. His power is unquestioned by those who seek his potions to cure sickness, to banish the cause of their fears or to ensure a happy marriage. In Kuna belief, natural objects are endowed with spirits, good or evil; they avoid certain places in the rainforest said to be inhabited by marauding ghosts.