Young Embera indian, Panama

This post is also available in: French

During our short stay in Panama, we went to visit an Embera Indigenous village. Michel, our guide, drove us from Colon up to a bridge from where we got on a small canoe to reach the village by river.  The boat journey took us deep into the dense jungles of Chagres.  On arrival to the village, we were taken back in time and were presented with ancient traditional Embera’s dances and music.

The Embera people invited us to explore the surrounding areas, and they gave us a glimpse into their mystical rituals and their amazing knowledge of medicinal plants and natural pigments. The women shown us their handmade baskets, some of the world finest, as well as beautiful objects made out of palm leaves and dyed with natural pigments. Several kids had their body painted with a natural fruit dye called Jagua, which is used by the Indians for body decorations.

During our stay, we enjoyed a traditional lunch of fresh fish and plantains and had the opportunity to take as many pictures as we wanted.  The Emberas are beautiful people both inside and out and are very quick to smile and laugh.

I know, many people will talk about human zoo and the like — I’ve heard the same about the Maasai villages in Tanzania and the Padaung village in Thailand. All I can say is that such activities created for tourists like ourselves enable the people of this village to live the way they choose and to maintain some of their tradition alive.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul
On the road to Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam