About the Kunas

The Kunas are friendly, playful, and fascinating people, who are almost completely self sustaining. Their food is found by fishing, or harvesting plantains and coconuts, which is convenient as San Blas, or Kuna Yala, is now the biggest coconut plantation in the whole world! Their houses are lit by solar energy, and hand-constructed artisanally with local wood and palm leaves.

They believe in living in harmony with Mother Nature, and each other, and have existed peacefully like this for centuries. They are skilled fisherman, builders, artists, and volleyball players(!) and like nothing more than to relax playing jokes with their families and friends, when the food for the day has been gathered.

Although part of Panama, they are an autonomous people, and each community has a Silla, or chief, who is democratically elected and respected as leader. They are also a matriarchal society as women symbolise Mother Earth, and they can generally be seen making decisions from the vantage point of their hammocks as the men busy themselves with work!

Did you know?

The Kunas actually have the third highest Albino population of anywhere in the world! They have a respected and special position in the society, known as the Sipus, or children of the moon, supposedly quested as the Luna guardians. When there is a Lunar eclipse, the community remains inside their homes, and the children of the moon go out with specially crafted bows and arrows, firing them at a Dragon that is believed to be coming to eat the moon, as it is thought that they are the only ones with the power to save the world from the darkness!

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