Yandup Island Lodge
The Kunas

    A cultural glance
The Kunas are known across Abia Yala –as the Kunas themselves refer to the American continent- as an example of a culture that has survived through the time.

It has been of great admiration the fact that the Kuna people keep autonomy over their land and culture, keeping in mind that Kuna Yala is part of a country with different laws. Only Kuna people are allowed to invest and own businesses in the Kuna territory. This has been of great importance for keeping the land and forests almost virgin and their culture untouched.

The molas, the dances, buildings, burials, the social structure, everything has shaped the life of the people in the community (and even the life of those who have migrated to the city).

The building of one’s house has a special meaning; each pole represents
something that must be followed in order to achieve harmony in the familiar and communitarian life. Traditionally, a big part of the community helps during the construction: from the searching of the materials to the last pole placed.

Most of the traditions and rituals are centered on the Kuna girl and woman, this is why many have called the Kuna culture a matriarchy (although it is slightly different thus difficult to explain). After marriage, the husband moves to the wife’s family house and must work and help the woman’s family.

To learn more, you can always visit our blog, in which we periodically publish information about the culture, the latest events in the community (and Kuna Yala), about the lodge and our experiences, as well: