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Republic of Panama, Panamanian culture.

Panama’s art and culture is reflected in its diverse mix of ethnic Indian tribes, West Indian groups, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Swiss, Yugoslav and North American immigrants. Panama’s traditional art includes wood carving, mask making, colorful Mola, Tagua nut carvings, pottery and weaving.

Spanish is the official language of Panama, however with the recent exodus of people from different parts of the world especially the Americas and other western nations English is spoken widely. However some of the Indian tribes have retained their native language and culture till date. Panamanian people are predominantly Roman Catholic, but there is a sizable Muslim and Protestant community and a small number of Hindus and Jews.

Panama has seven indigenous peoples:

  • Embera
  • Wounaan
  • Ngobe
  • Bugle
  • Kuna
  • Naso
  • Bribri

Defying change the some of the indigenous people of Panama still live in the wildest most primitive of surroundings. Distant from the comforts and problems of civilization, they are in complete harmony with themselves and their surroundings. The natives of Panama send their children to Panama schools however they prefer to keep away from those not of their culture and have retained most of their customs and practices.

Panama has nine provinces and each of the nine Panamanian provinces has a rich and varied folklore and cultural traditions which are expressed through its dances, cultural dress, music and cuisine.

Panamanians are one of the friendliest people one can ever hope to meet. They are gentle, fun-loving and helpful people. The Panamanians love to party, and can they do it in style! During the Carnival celebrations which is one of the most important holidays, the entire nation gets into a festive mood dance and music and food take precedence.

The Panamanian Carnival:

The Panamanian Carnival which takes place before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent is famous all over the world for its processions and singers. The carnival is a beautiful showcase of the beauty of Panamanian culture first hand. Rich folklore, beautiful and enchanting women dressed in the traditional “Polleras” make for a vibrant and colorful event.

The Panamanian Cuisine:

The Panamanian cuisine can tempt the most stubborn palate! The local cuisine which varies from region to region is an exotic and addictive concoction of both taste and variety. Some of the local dishes like sancocho de gallina (chicken stew), carimanolas (deep fried meat rolls), new corn fritters, fried pork rinds and jerked beef are scrumptious and delectable. One of the must taste dishes is known as "Fu-Fu"--a soup made from coconut milk, green plantains and fish with a pinch of a distinctive spicy condiment called "chombo" chile.

Dance and Folklore:

One of the most important references of any culture is the dance and music form. Generations of a rich and diverse culture is apparent in the multitude of festivals, dances and traditions. This beautiful extravagance of color, music and traditions is visible most during the Carnival.


Panamanian women typically wear the beautiful embroidered “polleras”, which can take almost up to a year to complete. The men wear embroidered long sleeved shirts, three quartered pants and the traditional “Montuno” straw hats.

Panama is a dazzling mix of the indigenous people and the traditional European cultures. The Republic Of Panama is probably an excellent blend of the modern and the traditional, the Western and the Eastern. With its incomparable natural beauty, it can be said of Panama, that for sure this is the one place on the earth where the finger of God lingered a little while longer!

Please contact us for any of your travel needs. Wecan help you with acquiring either tourist visas or retirement visas, arrange tours, flights, hotels, or arrange a real estate tour.