paruma, wraps around her like a sarong. In the more remote villages, the women and girls go topless. However, this village gets fairly regular visits from tourists, so the women have learned to cover their breasts with various garments or ornaments so the foreigners won't be embarrassed. The men and boys wear loin cloths called guayucos. They were bare-chested except for the long strands of beads that crossed over their chests like bandoliers. Both men and women decorate their faces and bodies with painted-on tattoo designs called jagua. The tattoos are made from the juice of a local fruit and last about two weeks.
wild jungle of the Darien Gap that straddles the border between Panamá and Colombia. The Emberá occupy areas on both sides of the border, with 20,000 living in Panamá and another 40,000 in Colombia. To them, the international boundary between the two nations is just an imaginary line politicians drew across their almost impenetrably dense jungle.
typical of those found throughout the Emberá world. The villages are usually scattered along the banks of a river, with about a half day's walk between them. They are also generally small, each containing only 5-20 houses. Usually there are no more than three villages along any given tributary.
persuaded the Panamanian government to set aside about 300,000 hectares in the Darien as the Emberá reserve. Even so, illegal logging and other negative activities continue. In addition, pharmaceutical companies want to exploit their knowledge of medicinal plants, and this may mean more problems in the future.
The Emberá are famed for their finely woven basketry. The designs include both abstract shapes and animal representations, as can be seen on the baskets that frame the woman's head.
This completes Part 7 of my Panamá series. I hope you enjoyed it and that you will leave your thoughts and questions in the Comments section below. If you do leave a question PLEASE leave your email address so that I can respond.
Hasta luego, Jim