national costume


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One thing I noticed about Panama when I first moved here was that it seemed kind of difficult to find authentic handicrafts. Admittedly, there are plenty of tourist booths along the streets in Las Tablas, but the stuff in them is mostly not specifically Panamanian. I wanted gifts for my family that were made locally, and would be readily identifiable […]

Handicrafts at Panama’s Annual Artistan Fair


Candles and Perfume – who can think of them without thinking of romance? Now, imagine a sultry night. Let us say it is a night in, perhaps, late March of 1945, the first night of Carnaval for that year. The Visual Feast Imagine hundreds of women of all ages, lovely in their pollera dresses, the skirts spread like wings as […]

The Romance of Las Tablas Carnaval


This coming Saturday, January 11, 2014, the Azuero will celebrate Mil Pollera, or One Thousand Polleras.  Nearly every woman in the area who owns a pollera, the exquisite national costume of Panama, will don it and dance in the parade in Las Tablas.  As will their tiny daughters.  And their men. The Mil Pollera is an event the Panamanian government […]

Panamanian Customs: The Mil Polleras



Although I have always appreciated the beauty and spectacle of this lovely costume worn by the women of Panama, until I read this book I have never coveted one of my own.  I did not realize how many styles there are, nor how specific each style is with regard to the hair, jewelry, shoes, shawls and petticoats worn with it. […]

Book Review: The Art of the Pollera