May 8, 2016

2531 PANAMA - Kuna people

The Kuna, also known as Cuna or Guna, are an indigenous people of Panama and Colombia. In the Kuna language, they call themselves Dule or Tule, meaning "people", and the name of the language in Kuna is Dulegaya, literally "people-mouth". The most Kunas live on small islands off the coast of the comarca of Kuna Yala known as the San Blas Islands. The other two Kuna comarcas in Panama are Kuna de Madugandí and Kuna de Wargandí.

Traditionally, Kuna families are matrilinear, with the groom moving to become part of the bride's family. The groom takes the last name of the bride as well. Eeach community has its own political organization, led by a Saila. The Saila is traditionally both the political and spiritual leader of the community; he memorizes songs which relate the sacred history of the people, and in turn transmits them to the people. The economy of Kuna Yala is based on agriculture, fishing and the manufacture of clothing.

The Kuna are famous for their bright molas, a colorful textile art form made with the techniques of appliqué and reverse appliqué. Mola panels are used to make the blouses of the women's national dress. On their arms and legs, they wear multicolored beaded bracelets, known as winnis (in Kuna) or chaquiras (in Spanish), which are believed to protect against bad spirits. They live even today in houses made of bamboo, with thatched roofs.

About the stamps

The stamps are part of a very large series (17), issued on November 26, 2003 to celebrate the Centenary of the Republic of Panama 1903 to 2003.

Kuna people - Wikipedia

Sender: Blanca de Brown
Sent from Panama City (Panama), on 07.12.2015
Photo and design: Mark Carr 

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