Everything is ready for the Thousand Pollera Parade organized by Panama’s Tourism Authority (ATP) in Las Tablas, Los Santos province each year. Local participants, domestic visitors and foreign tourists all gather to pay tribute to Panama’s traditional female costume.
Recent reports indicate that, so far, over 10,000 people have registered to take part in this traditional parade, which begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 10 starting from the Government office building in Las Tablas, ending at Plaza Praga.
Jesús Sierra Victoria, ATP Administrator, said that this traditional parade “is an important showcase that projects us nationally and internationally as a country. It shows a country that is a respectful custodian of its colloquial traditions that form an important part of our national identity.”
The first Thousand Pollera Parade was held in the capital of Panama in 2003. This is the fourth occasion that is being held in the city of Las Tablas.
Aris Acosta, who is producing the event, said that “this parade confirms that the Panamanian pollera is a strong and attractive product which can serve to attract national and international tourism to the country.”
The celebrations end on Sunday, January 11 with a typical mass at the Santa Librada Church at 8 a.m. with parade of Diablos Sucios taking place.
The parade is expected to last about seven hours. For all the details of these activities visit MilPolleras.com.
Some of the polleras you may see:
The pollera is the national female costume of Panama. There are different variations, according to the region. They are also classified according to how they are used.
• The “basquiña” skirt is used for women’s daily chores. This style of dress is adorned with the “solitary” gold chain, the “ducktail” gold chain and earrings.
• The pollera de Montuna Santeña is worn by peasant women who descend from the highlands to join the traditional festivities of the people. The outfit is appropriate for evening wear. For daytime, a painted hat is worn, the hair is braided and a few “tembleques” may be used as well. At night, the hat is replaced with golden combs.
• The Gala Santeña Pollera is the most elaborated style of dress. Hairstyles for this outfit are worn with golden combs and ”tembleques.”
• The pollera from the province of Herrera is the white lace Montuna Ocueña. This dress is accompanied by a full head of “tembleques,” or a white hat with braids and flowers.
• Women from the province of Veraguas also wear the Montuna Ocueña, as the region shares a border with Herrera.
• In the province of Coclé, in the region of Natá and Penonomé, the pollera is worn with “tembleques” of bright colors and white jasmine flowers.
• In Chiriquí, the pollera is worn with white petticoat skirts and “basquiña” skirts.
Panama’s first “Pollera Congress”
The first edition of the National Pollera Congress will take place from Wednesday, January 7 to Friday, January 9, 2015 in Chitré, province of Herrera, as part of the “Thousand Pollera Parade” (El Desfile de las Mil Polleras) which is scheduled for January 10.
The congress, a series of seminars, has as its main objective the preservation of the national female costume. Other topics to be covered include: the history of the pollera and the first polleras of the country, a discussion led by historian and investigator Eduardo Cano; the regional variations of the pollera, led by Victor Pinillo, the National Director of Handicrafts; and the correct manner to wear a pollera; along with a host of other presentations, all taking place at the Cubitá Boutique Resort & Spa of Chitré.
The Thousand Pollera Parade in Las Tablas is scheduled for Saturday, January 10 at 1 p.m. and concludes on Sunday, January 11 with a typical mass at the Santa Librada church at 8 a.m. which in turn ends with a “diablos sucios” parade.
Organizers expect between 15 to 20 thousand spectators for the seven hours or so of the parade. For more information about the pollera congress visit write to Pollera@gmail.com.