Kuna Indian girl

 

Church

 

Market

 

 

 

Culture

Leg wrapsPanama enjoys a rich Pre-Columbian heritage of native populations whose presence stretched back over 11,000 years. Central Panama was home to some of the first pottery-making villages in the Americas, such as the Monagrillo culture dating to about 2500-1700 BC. These evolved into significant populations that are best known through the spectacular burials of the Conte site (dating to AD 500-900) and the beautiful polychrome pottery of the Coclé style. The monumental monolithic sculptures at the Barriles (Chiriqui) site were another important clue of the ancient isthmian cultures. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Panama was widely settled by Chibchan, Chocoan, and Cueva peoples, among whom the largest group were the Cueva.

The culture, customs, and language of the Panamanians are predominantly Caribbean and Spanish. Spanish is the official and dominant language. About 40% of the population speak Creole, mostly in Panama City and in the islands off the northeast coast. English is spoken widely on the Caribbean coast, and by many in business and professional fields.

Panama, because of its historical reliance on commerce, is above all a melting pot. This is shown, for instance, by its considerable population of Afro-Antillean and Chinese origin. The first Chinese immigrated to Panama from southern China to help build the Panama Railroad in the 19th century. They were followed by several waves of immigrants whose descendants number around 50,000. Starting in the 1970s, a further 80,000 immigrated from other parts of mainland China as well. Most of the Panamanian population of West Indian descent owe their presence in the country to the monumental efforts to build the Panama Canal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

According to the World Factbook, Panama is the smallest in Spanish-speaking Latin American Country in terms of population, approximately 3,310,000. The majority of the population, 70%, is Mestizo. The rest is 14% Amerindian and mixed West Indian, 10% white and 6% Amerindian. The Amerindian population includes seven indigenous peoples, the Emberá, Wounaan, Guaymí, Buglé, Kuna, Ngobe, Naso and Bribri. More than half the country's population live in the Panama City–Colón metropolitan corridor.

The overwhelming majority of Panamanians are Roman Catholic – various sources estimate that 75-85% of the population identifies itself as Roman Catholic and 15-25% percent as evangelical Christian. The Bahá'í Faith community of Panama is estimated at 2.00% of the national population, or about 60,000 and is home to one of the seven Baha'i Houses of Worship. Smaller religious groups include the Jewish and Muslim communities with approximately 10,000 members each, and small groups of Hindus, Buddhists and Rastafarians. The Indigenous religions include Ibeorgun (among Kuna) and Mamatata (among Ngobe).

(Referenced from Wikipedia)

Longboat