The Embera People live in the Darien of Panama and the department of Choco in Colombia. In Panama they inhabit the same areas as the Indigenous group Waounan with whom they share many cultural similarities. The Darien of Panama is also home to a few Kuna communities and more and more latino homesteaders in search of land for cultivation or cattle. The latinos, missionaries, the Pan-American highway which cut the Darien in half, and the growing cosmopolitan city of Panama have all influenced their lifestyles and many cultural traditions have disappeared. Today, Indigenous people work in an effort to revive their culture and traditions, to preserve their language and values and to find economic development ideas to supplement meager income from farming. These WebPages were made to assist in those efforts, to help the Embera people record some of their traditions, and to share some insights into the beauty of their culture with the outside world. We hope you enjoy and learn from this site.
Note: Waounan and Embera people have long shared the same territory and their recent history and present culture is similar, so this general information shall serve for both groups. This is not to downplay the distinctions of the two, for they speak separate languages, their traditional roles --Waounan were artists, and Embera warriors--set them apart and they are organized politically as separate groups.