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Embera Indians - Colon

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

An excursion to another world. The Embera are an indigenous people who reside in Panama and Colombia. They have their own cultural traditions, language and customs, that they have preserved, nurtured and passed on for many generations. The Embera Quera is a subgroup of the Embera located in Panama. They primarily inhabit the Darien region, an area in eastern Panama characterized by dense rainforests and rivers. Their traditional villages are often only accessible by boat. The Embera are known for their tight-knit community, social structure and strong connection to nature. They live in round communal houses, often constructed from palm leaves and wood. Embera clothing is simple and made from fabric crafted by the women themselves. They sustain themselves through traditional agriculture, including the cultivation of manioc, bananas and other fruits. Fishing also plays a significant role in their diet. Body art, such as tattoos and body adornments made from natural materials, is an essential part of their culture and is often worn on special occasions. The Embera create intricate baskets, bowls, masks, and jewelry.

Some Embera Quera communities have embraced tourism as a source of income. Tourists can visit their villages, experience traditional dances and music and acquire their artworks.

Despite Panama's modernization, the Embera continue to preserve their customs and way of life. It is crucial to respect and protect their culture as they represent a unique and valuable addition to Panama's cultural heritage.

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