La Gente Kuna

Sovereign Indigenous of Coastal Panamá

Reception, slideshow, lecture
Saturday, May 23, 7pm
El Sitio Cultural Center, La Antigua.

The Kuna people of the Caribbean coast of Panama have one of the greatest degrees of political autonomy of any indigenous group in Latin America. Their success results from their remarkable tenacity and zealous efforts to preserve a traditional way of life. An island people, they live a very simple and traditional seafaring life, much as their ancestors did. While the territory over which they have jurisdiction includes nearly 400 islands, they inhabit only about 50 of them. The Kuna still live by their ancestral mythologies and maintain their traditions of exquisite indigenous dress, including the hand-sewn molas for which they are known.

Guatemala-based photographer Victoria Stone traveled to Kuna Yala (territory), also known as the San Blas islands, in March 2007. She believes that those of us interested in the preservation of indigenous cultures have much to learn from the good decisions made by the Kuna people.

This month El Sitio presents an exhibition of her photographs of Kuna people and their island life. The opening reception will feature a narrated slideshow of more Kuna Yala photos, as well as a lecture and discussion on the Kuna people’s remarkable success at preserving their culture.

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