Unesco recognizes the real Panama Hat

LA PINTADA, Panama (AP) — Cultural authorities at UNESCO have recognized the artisans of Panama for their distinctive woven hats. No, not those hats; the famed “Panama hat” comes from Ecuador.

Panama’s real contribution to the world’s hat heritage is the pintao, or painted hat, handmade from five different plants and a dose of swamp mud.

Production of the circular-brimmed hats is still a family affair carried out on a household scale. The industry’s center is La Pintada, a district about 170 kilometers (105 miles) west of Panama City.

“They don’t have anything (artificial), no machinery; no factory as such exists here in La Pintada,” said Reinaldo Quiros, a well-known artisan, and designer who sells hats out of his home. “Each artisan in his own home makes the hats maintaining the techniques taught by his ancestors.”

The widely known “Panama hat” is a brimmed hat traditionally made in Ecuador from the straw of the South American toquilla palm plant. The hats are thought to have earned their misleading name because many were sold in nearby Panama to prospectors traveling through that country to California during the Gold Rush.

Artisans of the truly Panamanian pintao hat start with the fibers of several plants that are cured and then woven into braids that are wrapped around a wooden form and sewn together from the crown of the hat down.

Pasion Gutierrez, 81, grows some of the plants around his house in El Jaguito outside La Pintada, while others are found high in the mountains. Gutierrez, his wife Anazaria and several of their children and grandchildren make pintaos.  His eyesight doesn’t allow him to do the fine needlework anymore, but he harvests, prepares and braids the fibers.

On a recent day, Gutierrez said he’d gone out the night before to cut agave leaves because they believe the quality of the fibers is best when harvested under a full moon.

“It’s no good with a new moon,” he said.

Several bands of fiber are dyed black with the leaves from a different plant and then stuck in mud for three days. The fibers are woven into fine geometric designs and integrated into the hat giving it its name.

“The pintao hat has become an integral part of regional outfits throughout the country worn during traditional dances and community festivities,” the United Nations’ heritage arm’s statement said.

Depending on the quality of the work some pintao hats can cost hundreds of dollars. Authorities estimate that 4,000 of La Pintada’s 25,000 residents work creating or selling the hats.

Pedro Mendoza, a 50-year-old hat maker, hopes that the UNESCO recognition takes the pintao hat beyond the country’s borders.

“It’s really good what’s happened,” he said. “The hat for us is a way of life.”

Original article:  https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/unesco-recognizes-panamas-hat/4180101.html 

Advertisements

Meet our Naturalist guides: Raul Velasquez

Raul is a passionate and dedicated tour guide, he was born in the Chiriqui Province among coffee farms and agriculture. He became a tour guide in 2008, he actively worked in the Pearl Archipelago when tourism was just starting in Panama. Raul guided whale watching tours as well as island day tours in the Archipelago and after 5 years working there he decided to come back to Boquete and start working as a naturalist and birding guide. He is a certified naturalist guide and MarViva guide. Birdwatching at the Ceriana Farm is his favorite activity and his favorite bird is the Three-wattled Bellbird. Raul enjoys showing Boquete to all visitors and encourages more people to visit the area. He currently resides in Boquete.

Favorite Bird:  Tree Wattle Bellbird

Desfile de las Mill Polleras – Cultura y Tradición en Panamá

El Desfile de las Mil Polleras se celebrará en Las Tablas el sábado 10 de enero. Se espera la participación de más de 10,000 empolleradas, conjuntos musicales, murgas y tamboritos en un despliegue folclórico extraordinario. Con el desfile se mantienen vivas las tradiciones de vestir, tanto hombres como mujeres, el traje típico nacional. Para visitantes, la cantidad y variedad de polleras lucidas por hermosas damas panameñas, es un espectáculo único en el folclor panameño.

Programa: Después del mediodía nos dirigimos hacia Las Tablas para disfrutar del desfile de las Mil Polleras. Nos ubicamos en un área reservada exclusivamente para el grupo – el portal de una casa que queda directamente en la ruta del desfile. Aquí disfrutamos de toda la comodidad– sillas, sombra, baño, merienda típica y bebidas disponibles – para poder deleitarnos con el lujo y esplendor del traje típico panameño que engalana las calles de Las Tablas este día. Nuestro guía – experto en las tradiciones y el folclor panameño – nos explica todo sobre el traje nacional mientras más de diez mil polleras se mueven al ritmo de la murga y el tambor. Las damas que desfilan son ataviadas con todas las variantes de la pollera panameña, entre ellas la Montuna Santeña, la Ocueña, la Veraguense, la Coquito y por supuesto la Pollera de Gala – todas lucidas con mucho orgullo. Además, las damas son acompañadas de los caballeros con sus respectivas vestimentas fol-clóricas.
Cubitá Tours le ofrece una experiencia 100% autóctona para el Desfile de las Mil Polleras. ¡Acompáñenos y viva la expresión más auténtica de las tradiciones panameñas! Como cliente de Cubitá Tours gozará de los siguientes beneficios exclusivos:

EcoCircuitos y Grupo Cubitá le ofrece una experiencia 100% autóctona para el Desfile de las Mil Polleras. ¡Acompáñenos y viva la expresión más auténtica de las tradiciones panameñas!

Fecha: Sábado 10 de enero 2015

Para más información contacte nuestras oficinas al +507 315-1488 o vía email:  info@ecocircuitos.com

*** Fotos:  EcoCircuitos Panama Copyright!