The Kuna people are an indigenous ethnic group primarily residing in the eastern part of Panama and some areas of Colombia. They are known for their rich cultural heritage and distinct way of life.
With a population of approximately 400,000 individuals, the Kuna people have a unique identity and are among the most recognized indigenous groups in Central America. They have managed to preserve their traditional customs, language, and practices despite external influences.
The Kuna people have a matrilineal society, wherein the women hold a significant role in decision-making and family matters. They traditionally live in autonomous communities called "comarcas," which are self-governed territories where they maintain their ancestral traditions and systems.
One of the defining aspects of Kuna culture is their exceptional textile craftmanship, particularly the vibrant molas. Molas are intricately handcrafted textiles made by layering and sewing intricate designs onto fabric. They depict elements of Kuna mythology, historical events, animals, and nature. These striking textiles reflect the artistic skills and creativity of the Kuna people, and their molas have gained international recognition.
The Kuna people also have a deep connection with nature and consider themselves guardians of the environment. They have a strong belief in spiritual forces and respect for their natural surroundings, including the sea, forests, and mountains.
Overall, the Kuna people are an indigenous group who proudly preserve their cultural heritage, maintaining their traditional ways of life while navigating the modern world.
The word "Kuna" can refer to both a Native American ethnic group and a currency.
1. Kuna (People): The Kuna people, also known as the Guna people, are an indigenous group mainly living in the San Blas Islands of Panama and the Darién Province. The term "Kuna" is believed to have originated from the Kuna language, their own traditional language. The exact etymology of the word within the Kuna language is unclear.
2. Kuna (Currency): The Kuna is a currency used in Croatia. The word "Kuna" in this context has a different etymology. It comes from the Croatian word "kun", which referred to a marten, a mustelid mammal found in the region.