Jan. 30 Indian Village tour As part of our WARC crew fee they have arranged for a tour of a native Indian village located on one of the reservoirs that hold water for the canal. We boarded the bus at the marina and drove to a spot along the river where we loaded into dugout canoes for a 45 minute trip to the village. The scenery along the way was beautiful with trees right along the edge of the water and a multitude of birds everywhere. Traveling through the resevior
We were greeted at the village by men playing instruments and women singing; the Emberbra (sp) still dress in the traditional way, loin cloths for the men and skirts for women. We all went to the main meeting hut, a large open air building with a thatch roof, the village chief greeted us and explained the traditions of the people and the crafts the make. Here they are known for intricately woven items made from plant fibres and died with natural colors. After the chief was done speaking, we were treated to more traditional dancing and singing, then they chose people from the tour to dance with them. Some of the village women fried fish and green plantains in the communal cooking hut, it was served in bowls fashioned from banana leaves and accompanied by fresh fruit. Panama grows many different fruits and pineapples are in peak season now; they are so sweet and tender you can even eat the core. A child plays in front of a typical home, built on stilt to aviod flooding from the river
When lunch was finished we were taken on a tour of the village and the local shaman explained all the natural cures and remedies they have, everything from bug repellent to birth control. We did some shopping from the many craft stands in the main hut, I bought a necklace with a jaguars tooth; the wood carvings were very intricate as were the woven items. Back into the dugouts, we rode to a small stream at the end of which was a small water fall. To the waterfall The stop here was a short one and then we headed back to the buses for the ride back to the marina. The rest of the day was spent at the local restaurants and bars in the area, before heading back to the boat for the night.