Culture of Panama

Panama or the Republic of Panama is a country usually said to be completely in North America or Central America. Panamanian culture is a mix of Native Panamanian, African and Spanish cultures.



Spanish is the official language of the country. Several native languages are also spoken in Panama. English is also spoken in some parts.


Spanish effect is seen in religion as the Christianity is practiced mostly here with a majority of Roman Catholics. There are also Jewish, Protestant, Baha’i, Hindu and Muslim groups in Panama.

Traditional clothing

The traditional dress of Panamanian men is a white cotton shirt with trousers and a woven hat made of straw.


Women wear the Pollera. A Pollera is usually made of fine linen fabric. It is usually white with a hint of color and is made out of 13 yards of cloth.


Panamanian Cuisine has an influence of Spanish, African and Native American in the techniques, dishes, and ingredients. Panama grows a large variety of tropical fruits, herbs and vegetables use in traditional cooking.

The typically Panamanian foods are lightly flavored. Common ingredients are rice, wheat flour, corn, cassava, plantains, pork, beef, chicken, and seafood.

Music and Dance

The Panamanian music has influences of Cuevas Gunas, Teribes, Ngöbe–Buglé and many other native tribes, the European music from the Iberian Peninsula, and from the black population who were brought from West Africa.

Panama music has a rich and diverse history and has important music and dance routines like Tamborito, Cumbia, and has effects in Pasillo, Saloma, Punto, Bolero, Mejorana, Salsa, Jazz, Calypso, Reggae, Rock and other musical genres.

The Tamborito is said to be the king of the Panamanian folkloric dances. It means a small drum and is a mix of traditional dances of Hispanic and African natives that happen on a rhythm.

Cumbia is also a mix of African and Hispanic music and dances. All across Panama is done and is diversified in style as per the region, like fully African done with drums, or completely European with other instruments, or more with Indian rhythms. Cumbia is played using as many as 16 instruments besides the drum. Different kinds of drums and other instruments like maracas, Spanish guitar, rebec, accordion, violin, harmonica, and flute may also be used.


The traditional handicrafts like woodcarvings, ceremonial masks and pottery are seen. Basket weaving is also a common art seen in many villages.

Kuna people make ‘molas’ that are the elaborate embroidered panels which are put artistically in front and back of a Kuna woman’s blouse.


Baseball is the national sport of Panama. The country has about 140 professional players that have played baseball in the United States.

Panamanian Boxing has also got some excellent players of who are International champions.

Football is a popular sport in Panamanians with a National team having an international presence.

Basketball is also a popular sport in Panama. Many Panamanian players are playing in NBA.

Other popular sports are volleyball, taekwondo, golf, and tennis.

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