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Panama - Culture



Panama - Culture
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.68

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    matriarchal, mola, society, unchanged, newly, affected, meaning, culture, country, marriage, tribe, chain, instance, prepare, form, such
     content words:    United States, Peace Corps


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Panama - Culture
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
  

1     The country of Panama has a mixed culture. For many years, native Panamanians lived mostly alone. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers came to Panama. They brought with them Spanish culture and traditions. The Spanish way of life mixed with the native way of life to create something new.
 
2     But one culture that remained mostly unchanged was that of the Kuna. The Kuna are a tribe of native Panamanians. They live on an island chain off Panama's north shore. Today's Kuna live much like their ancestors did many years ago. That's because until recently, they were mostly left alone.
 
3     The Kuna are a close community. They have strong ties to their family, community, and simple way of life. Their society is matriarchal. That means that family ties are passed from the mother's side of the family. In such a society, women have an important place. For instance, after marriage, the newly married man must live in his wife's family's house. While living there, he has to work for his wife's family.

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