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Panama - Bridge of Cultures of the Whole World

Crafts PanamaRodrigo de Bastidas, a captain that sailed with Colon in his second trip to the Americas, discovered Panama in 1501. At that time, more than 60 indigenous tribes inhabited the region. Today the major ethnic groups in Panama are: The Kunas in the Kuna Yala (San Blas) Islands in the Caribbean; the Emberá in the Darién Province; the Gnöbe Buglé in the provinces of Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro and Veraguas; the Teribes y Bokota Indians in Bocas del Toro and the Wounaan in Darién. These six tribes, along with an influx of other cultures from around the world, have helped shape the diversity and depth of Panamanian history, culture and tradition.

The ethnic diversity of Panama is shown in the variety of traditional handicrafts produced here, including wood carvings, ceremonial masks, ceramics and the renowned hand-embroidered Molas of the Kuna tribe.

Museums

The city of Panama offers a variety of interesting museums, including the Museum of Colonial Religious Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Afro-Antillean Museum, the Panamanian History Museum, the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Postal Museum, the Old Panama Museum, the National Bank House Museum, the Anthropological Museum Reina Torres de Araúz and the Interoceanic Museum of the Panama Canal.

Other museums in Panama include: the Museum of History and Tradition of Penonomé, the Museum of Salt and Sugar, and the El Caño Archeological Museum in the Province of Coclé; the Herrera Museum and the Parita Workshop, both of them in the Province of Herrera; the Museum Belisario Porras, The House Museum Manuel F. Zárate and the Museum of Nationality in the Province of Los Santos; The Museum of History and Culture José de Obaldía and the San Pablo Museum, both of them in the province of Chiriquí.

Admission fees vary between $0.50 and $5.00. Most museums are open for tours from Tuesdays to Sundays.

Thanks to Instituto Panameño de Turismo (IPAT): 1-800-231-0568

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