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Also in this section:
A visit to the National Crafts Fair

Rómulo Castro & friends at the XOKO

Gallery & Museum Guide

A visit to the National Crafts Fair at ATLAPA

photos by Joel Inwood

Do you prefer a real Panama hat --- the kind we make and wear here, rather than the Ecuadoran things that are known internationally as Panama hats? Or are you looking for some of the better molas, Embera or Wounaan basketry or carvings, or any of the other genres of Panamanian folk art or craftwork? Then you would want to go to ATLAPA for the annual National Crafts Fairs. On the stage you can see Interior-style dancing in polleras and montunos, congo dancing from the Atlantic side, or several other genres of Panamanian folk culture.

If you didn't get to the recent fair, you'll have to wait until next year, long about late July or early August.

The best known Panamanian indigenous handicrafts are the appliqué and reverse appliqué molas that Kuna women make and apply in all sorts of traditional and non-traditional ways. Beadwork is also a Kuna tradition.

These boys in the conical hats are on their way to a Congo dancing show. Congo dancing is a modern remnant of the Cimarron culture, created by slaves who ran away from their Spanish masters and created villages on a West African model in the Panamanian jungle.

The traditional designs here are of the Pre-Columbian Coclean culture, but not all carved bateas are traditional.


Ceramics have been an important part of the Panamanian handicrafts scene since ancient times.

 

Also in this section:
A visit to the National Crafts Fair

Rómulo Castro & friends at the XOKO

Gallery & Museum Guide

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