San Blas Island, Panama



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This is the home of the Kuna Indians. There are the second smallest people in the world after the pygmies of Africa. They have preserved their culture and live in primitive thatched huts (with TV sets) on 40 islands in the area. There are many uninhabited islands which have a single caretaker to guard the all-important coconut trees. The islands are free from animals (except cats of course), and snakes, and have a pleasant tropical climate.

We were advised to take a lot of $1. bills onto the island, as the people expect, and ask for, 'one dolla plees' each time you take their picture. They do have colorful dress and some have their faces made up also.


One main source of income appears to be making mola's and selling them to tourists. As you see in the pictures, these are handmade pictures entirely of fabric panels which has been sewn together. Some are quite intricate, and of course the workmanship on some is better than others. These mola's can be used to make purses, tableclothes, wall hangings, etc.; in fact many were already made into these items.

They do make other items - like a wooden handcarved (but primitive) sailboat we purchased for $1.

Click on the first photo and you can cycle thru all of them.

San Andres Isl.,Columbia

San Blas Island, Panama

Panama Canal Crossing
Costa Rica