.

MundoAndino Home : Colombia Guide at Mundo Andino

Kuna (people)


Kuna or Cuna is the name of an indigenous people of Panama and Colombia. The spelling Kuna is currently preferred. In the Kuna language, the name is Dule or Tule, meaning "people," and the name of the language in Kuna is Dulegaya, meaning "Kuna language" (literally "people-mouth.")

The Kuna live in three politically autonomous comarcas or reservations in Panama, and in a few small villages in Colombia. There are also communities of Kuna people in Panama City, Colon, and other cities. The greatest number of Kuna people live on small islands in the comarca of Kuna Yala. The other two Kuna comarcas in Panama are Kuna de Madugandi and Kuna de Wargandi.

In Kuna Yala, each community has its own political organization, led by a Saila (pronounced "sai-lah"). The Saila is traditionally both the political and spiritual leader of the community; he memorizes songs which relate the sacred history of the people, and in turn transmits them to the people. Decisions are made in meetings held in the Onmaked Nega (Congress House or Casa de Congreso), a structure which likewise serves both political and spiritual purposes. It is in the Onmaked Nega that the Saila sings the history, legends and laws of the Kuna, as well as administering the day-to-day political and social affairs. The Saila is usually accompanied by one or more voceros who function as interpreters and counselors for the Saila. Because the songs and oral history of the Kuna are in a higher linguistic register with specialized vocabulary, the Saila's recitation will frequently be followed by an explanation and interpretation from one of the voceros in everyday Kuna language.

Related websites

Website of Congreso General Kuna

Oculocutaneous albinism: clinical, historical and anthropological aspects

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Ethnic groups in Colombia or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Kuna (people)


Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009