San Blas Islands

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The San Blas Islands of Panama is an archipelago comprising approximately 378 islands and cays, of which only 49 are inhabited. They lie off the north coast of the Isthmus of Panama, east of the Panama Canal. They are home to the Kuna Indians and a part of the comarca Kuna Yala (also spelled Guna Yala) along the Caribbean coast of Panama.

The inhabitants used to wear few clothes and decorated their bodies with colorful designs. When encouraged to wear clothes by the missionaries, they followed their body painting designs in their Molas, which they wore as clothing.
The Kuna Indians worship a god named Erragon. They believe that this god came and died just for the Kuna people. The Kuna Indians were driven off Panama during the Spanish invasion and they fled in their boats to the surrounding 378 islands. The chief of the Kuna lives on an island called Acuadup, which means rock island. The Kuna are hunters and fishermen; they are a very clean people. On some of the islands they have opportunities to attend school. Most of the men now speak Spanish, although the women carry on older traditions.
On these keys, William Dampier started and ended his first journey with privateers and pirates 1679-1681. He calls them "The Samballoes," a rendezvous-place for pirates, convenient for hiding and privacy.
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