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The San Blas Islands of Panama

Panama

Panama is a country located on the narrowest and lowest part of the Isthmus of Panama that links North and South America. It borders two countries, Costa Rica and Columbia, and is divided into nine provinces and three independent territories. One of these territories is the "Comarca de Kuna Yala", originally established under the name of "San Blas".

The Comarca de Kuna Yala includes both a strip of Caribbean coastline (from the Colon Province almost to the Colombian border) and the Archipelago de San Blas. (An archipelago is a group of many islands located in a large body of water.)

San Blas

The Archipelago de San Blas is a series of 378 islands, only 49 of which are inhabited. (One reference book refers to these islands as "tufts of land" which explains why it is hard to find a map of this area.) It is north of the Isthumus of Panama and east of the Panama Canal and is home to the Kuna.

mola of Panama

The Kuna have governed the Comarca ("autonomous territory") de Kuna Yala "Kuna-land" or "Kuna mountain" in the Kuna language) since the 1920's. They maintain their own economic system, language, customs and culture with their distinctive dress, music, dance and legends. The Kuna are known for their decorative art, known as molas.

 
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