The Kuna People

The Kuna women are taking part in a Chicha Fest, soon their bowls will be filled with Chicha, an intoxicating beverage. The fest celebrates the time a young girl becomes a woman. It involves much drinking, smoking and dancing!

The Kuna women are taking part in a Chicha Fest, soon their bowls will be filled with Chicha, an intoxicating beverage. The fest celebrates the time a young girl becomes a woman. It involves much drinking, smoking and dancing!

The San Blas archipelago, home to the Kuna Indians, consists of  over 340 islands stretching east and west for over 100 miles, home to the indigenous Kuna who proudly preserve their culture and traditions.  

Today the Kunas' income consists of selling coconuts to  Colombian trading ships, fishing, and tourism.  In matrilocal Kuna society, women play an important role and contribute significantly to tribal income by selling molas. These elaborate hand-stitched embroidered cloth panels depict unique images of Kuna life past and present.  Molas are part of a traditional woman's costume. 

Kuna Feminine Life

After the a Kuna wedding, the groom goes to live and work with the bride's family.  As a result, the birth of a girl is welcomed with special ceremonies. Her first  menstrual cycle is celebrated with many 

ceremonies and an elaborate community party,  a chicha festival. The girl, now ready for marriage, puts on her complete mola costume for the first time and chooses her adult name.