Sunday, January 11, 2009

Panart: Dedicated to the Artisans of Panama

A Kuna woman who supplies Panart with molas.

From their site:

Indigenous Artisans of Panamá:
Emberá, Wounaan, Kuna, Ngobe-Bugle

Panamá has a diverse and culturally rich Indigenous population which accounts for approximately 8 percent of the total population.
Although threatened by environmental degradation of their lands and incursions by outside groups, the tribal people of Panamá have managed to preserve much of their culture and traditions. They are engaged in a ongoing struggle to have their homelands legally recognized and the boundaries respected.

Crafts for sale to outsiders have developed from the traditional material culture and now help maintain tribal identity as well as provide a supplemental means of support when people can no longer depend completely on a traditional lifestyle.