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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

The intricate and beloved Pollera.

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

Traditions are so important to our families, our cultures, and our way of lives but when we cannot be together to share them, it's easy to let them go for the effort, energy, and cost of time and money they can require. But not all traditions are this way. It can be something as easy as a piece of holly hanging in a doorway or simply throwing a baby in India. Yes, that's actually a thing.

Tossing babies aside, but really, let's not do that. The Pollera (poyera) is a traditional dress in Panama worn for special festivals, and important celebrations. These dresses are intense. They are expensive, handmade with intricate details, and deeply treasured by the girls and women of Panama.

Although they originated as a custom in Spain, this tradition migrated with the Spaniards back in the 1500's when it was joyfully adopted by the women of Panama. They consist of an intricately embroidered shirt and skirt layered over a linen petticoat and then naturally accessorized with layers of golden jewelry, colorful pearl headdresses, and golden combs that have been passed down through generations.

Wearing this beautiful creation comes with a deeply rooted sense of pride for the girl or woman as well as their families. It signifies such a special life event that one may only have the opportunity once in her lifetime.

I chose to share with you the Panamanian artist - Mario Saldaña. In his paintings, he captures this Panamanian Tradition but equally as important and to me even more so is nature. I love the colors, the details, and all that he blends together in his bright and feminine paintings. In the image above, he personifies the traditional male dress that would be worn alongside a woman in a pollera.

We hope life is treating you well in your corner of the world and would love to hear from you. While you may dreaming of warm weather destinations in the near or distant future, we have a really cozy bed with your name on it here in the jungles of Panama.

Your Friends in Morrillo,

Cari and Ryan Mackey

Owners and Hosts

Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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