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                         Teribe-Naso

The Panamanian tribe, Naso, Teribe or Tjër Di are an indigenous people located in northwest Panama, in the province of Bocas del Toro. There are roughly 3,500 people who belong to the Naso tribe. It is one of the few native American indigenous groups or tribes that continues to have a monarchy.

The Naso people have traditionally occupied the mountainous jungle regions of western Bocas del Toro where they continue to identify with the lands along the river that became known in the Spanish speaking world as the Teribe or Tjër Di in Naso. 'Di' means 'water' and 'Tjër' is their mythical "Grand-Mother" who was endowed by God with the secrets of botanical medicine. Until as recently as three or four generations ago the Naso people led a remarkably autonomous existence. Dispersed among their clans and homesteads, and geographically isolated from most of the world, the Naso developed and nurtured their cultural self-sufficiency through the idiom and the institution of the family.

The Naso, who now live in the province of Bocas del Toro, Panama, are for the most part very poor subsistence farmers who supplement their earnings with the sale of the agricultural products (cocoa, oranges, plantains, etc.), animals (pigs, chickens, ducks, etc.), lumber (cordia alliodora, cedrela odorata, etc.) and some handicrafts which they transport to the relatively nearby city of Changuinola (population 30,000, two hours down river by raft or dugout canoe).

While the Naso are isolated in geographic terms and receive few visitors to their communities, they are for the most part bilingual (Naso and Spanish), wear Western clothing, and many among them have converted to evangelical Protestant religions.


                                                                                                                                            
        
                
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