Customs and Traditions

Typical Panamanian handicrafts can be divided into pre-Columbian or pre-Hispanic crafts and those introduced by the Spanish conquistadors.

To acquire replicas of the jewelry made by the Indians who lived on the isthmus before the Europeans arrived, visit the store Reprosa at their location in Old Town or downtown on Samuel Lewis Avenue next to Obarrio Plaza. Visitors can also see how they make the jewelry in a workshop located in the industrial section of Costa del Este.

Other handicrafts made by the country's various indigenous groups can be purchased at the Figali Convention Center at the entrance to the, including Molas, the Guna double-layered textile designs, figurines carved out of "vegetable ivory" Tagua nuts or Cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa) wood, beautiful baskets with natural dyes by the Emberá Wounaan, and finally the beaded necklaces and bracelets (chaquiras) and bags woven of natural fiber (chácaras) made ​​by the Ngäbe-Buglé. Crafts influenced by the Spanish presence are also for sale, such as the Painted Hat, the typical women's costume of La Pollera, and even the famous Panama Hat, which is actually woven in Ecuador but called Panamanian because it was here where gold prospectors bound for California bought this headwear.

Additionally, there is a craft center in Old Panama, several craft stalls on Perico Island on the Amador Causeway, and more shops in Old Town, the pedestrian shopping street, and near the Plaza 5 de Mayo.

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