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The People of Panama
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  1. The People of Panama

  2. Background • Reconquista • Moore, Jew, Spaniard • Feudalism • God, Gold, and Glory • Charles V (1516-1556)

  3. Colonial Spanish Hierarchy • Peninsulares • Born in spain • Held most prestigious positions • Criollos • Pure Spanish Ancestry • Positions in Government and Trade • Mestizos • Mixed (usually spanish father and Amerind mother) • Retail trade and services • Africans and Indians • Slaves

  4. Geography

  5. Panamanian HistoryPre-Columbus • 60 tribes • 500,000- 750,000 people • Biggest Tribes: • Kuna- largest • Guaymi- Related to Mayans • Choco- Related to South American Indians

  6. Panamanian HistoryEarly Years • Rodrigo de Bastidas reached isthmus in 1501 • Columbus founded Portobelo on 4th voyage • Vasco Nunez de Balboa • 1510: came to Panama (creditors) • 60/800 settlers left • Founded Antigua and became mayor • Made settlers plant crops • Found chief’s Daughter

  7. Panamanian HistoryEarly Years • 1513- Balboa led 1190 man expedition • Found Pacific after 25 days • Claimed all sea and shores it touched for Spain and God • Returned to Antigua in 1514 • Beheaded by “Pedrarias the Cruel” (Arias) 1517

  8. Panamanian HistoryEarly Years • 1519- Pedrarias moved capitol 2 miles east of present day Panama City • Linked with Nombre de Dios by Camino Real • Atlantic-Pacific trade • 3rd richest Spanish colony in New World

  9. Panamanian HistoryEarly Years • Council of Indies declared that Indians should be protected and converted • Little enforced with most good from missions • Bartolome de lasCasas • Outraged by native’s treatment • Indian slaves replaced by Africans • Slave trade begun in 1517 • (continued for ~200 years)

  10. Panamanian HistoryPre-Independence • 1671- Panama looted and burned by Henry Morgan • After 4 weeks, left with 600 prisoners/175 mules • 1673- Present Day Panama City rebuilt (fortified) • Spanish Empire declined from 17th to 19th century

  11. Panamanian HistoryEnter USA • 10 Nov 1821: Panama declared independence • Shortly thereafter absorbed into Columbia • 1821-1847: South American Politics • 1847: Panama Railroad built • Created 2nd largest city: Aspinwall/Colon • Chinese labour • 1856: Watermelon War • 1869: Transcontinental Railroad built

  12. Panamanian HistoryLast half of 19th Century • 50 riots and rebellions • 5 attempted successions • 13 interventions by USA • 36 Presidents in 23 years • Colon destroyed in 1885 • “War of 1000 days” (1899-1902)

  13. Panamanian HistoryCanal Planning • King Phillip II (1556-1598) • “If God wanted a canal he would have built one” • 17th century renewed calls • Spain too weak • 19th Century • England and US stalemated for building • France began canal construction in 1879 • Ferdinand de Lesspes (Suez Canal) • Imported many Antillean Blacks • Canal abandoned after bankruptcy 1889

  14. Panamanian HistoryThe Canal • Hay-Pauncefote Treaty (1902) • US gets sole rights to build canal from Britain • Hay-Herran Treaty (1903) • Denied by Columbia • US encouraged Sepratists • Nov. 1903: US recognizes Panama as nation • Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty (1903-4) • $40 million and $250,000 annuity in Gold • Canal Zone given in perpetuity to US • 1914: Canal finished

  15. Panamanian HistoryPost-Canal • 1930’s: Fascism under Arnulfo Arias • Rising Anti-Americanism after WWII • 1948 & 1955 Treaty Renegotiations • June 1964 Riots • 1968: Torrijos’ Coup • 1977 Treaties: • Panama Canal Treaty • Legal jurisdiction of canal zone transferred to Panama • Canal given to Panama 31 Dec 1999 • Neutrality Treaty • US responsibility for protection of canal permanently • 1981-1990: Noriega Government • 1990- Present: Stability

  16. Modern Panama Statistics • Country roughly size of South Carolina • 80% Catholic Mestizo (Spanish) • 14% Protestant Antillean Blacks (English) • 6% Amerinds (Bi/tri-lingual) • Compulsory school attendance to age 15 • 91% of population literate

  17. Panamanian Government • President with 2 Vice Presidents • 5 years terms • Unicameral Legislative Assembly • 5 years terms • Supreme Court • 9 Members with 9 alternates • Appointed 10 years terms • Parties: • PRD: Democratic Revolutionary Party • PPA: Authentic Panamanian Party

  18. Panamanian Culture • Kinship central to Society • Men expected to be sexually active outside marriage • Mistresses common and acceptable for every class • Men obliged to support any children • Fidelity extremely important for wives, with children overriding concern • Catholic religion required to be taught in schools (spanish) • “Money Whitens Everyone”

  19. “Natives” • Amerinds • Cuna • Guaymi • Choco • Bribri • Bokata • Terraba

  20. Cuna/ Bugue-Bugue • God: Olokkuppilele at Mt. Tacarcuna • Mother God: Earth, man children of mother

  21. Cuna/ Bugue-Bugue • Origin: South America • Majority live in San Blas coral islands (38) • Villages 37-1500 people

  22. Cuna/ Bugue-Bugue • Society centred around Village and household • Households avg. 9.9 people • Ideal: • Senior couple (directs work) • Unmarried children • Married daughters with Sons-in-law (subordinate) and offspring

  23. Cuna Society • Men dominate Political/Social sphere • Kinship doesn’t define succesion • Meetings: • Chanting/singing attended by village • Talking attended by Men

  24. Cuna Society • Conversion attempts unsuccessful • Manliness based on ability to chant and perform rituals • Female Puberty ritual • Albino rate high

  25. Cuna-Hispanic History • Allied with Pirates • 17th Century Spanish Extermination • Halted with Independence from Spain • 1919- CivilisationProgramme • Abolished Nose rings, Bead Bindings, Puberty ritual • 1925- Kuna Yala Reserve Created • Drug smugglers, Guerillas, Mestizo immigration

  26. Guaymi/Ngobe • Second largest native group in Central American (~125,000) • Range: • Bocas del Toro • Chiriqui • Verguas • Divided By Cordillera Mtn. Range • Pacific side: Small, Scattered Hamlets • Atlantic Side: Riverline/Costal enviornments

  27. Guaymi Social Structure • Hamlets (Caterios) of 5-10 huts • Trade and Ceremonies in Mestizo cities • Ideally each settlement composed of: • Cosanguinous males, their wives and unmarried children

  28. Guaymi Social Structure • Strongly Patriarchal • Greater female independence due to migrant work • Kin strongly connected btwn Hamlets • Women come of age at 14 • Men come of age at 18

  29. Guaymi Marriage • Political • Men without daughters to exchange at disadvantage • Polygamy • practiced mainly to show wealth/prestige • Often Co-wife is younger sister of first • Younger wives leave husbands as they age • Up to 10 wives throughout male’s life, but usually dies with only one

  30. Guaymi Life • Hunting practiced greatly until 1960’s • Diet consists of mostly Yams and Bananas • Principal employers banana plantations and ranches (increased in 1950’s)

  31. Other Natives • Choco: • SE portion of Darien on Columbian Border • Bilingual and intermarried with Columbian Blacks • Bribri • Mostly Protestant • Bokata • Close Linguistically to Guaymi • Terraba • 1910-1930’s decimated by TB, expansion in 1950’s • Culture mostly lost, looting gold from ancestral burial mounds common • Illiteracy for Amerinds in Panama over 80%

  32. Do the Indigenous peoples have a future? • Christianity • Education • Economics • Language • Environment • Medicine • Universalism vs. Relativism • What is indigenous?