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La Pollera Panameña


To talk about the pollera and write about it is in fact to talk about the panamanian woman. And, indeed, there is a lot to say about the panamanian woman, so many beginnings and so many endings, but no word, poem, song, verse, nor "saloma", can equal what she is, what she feels, and what inspires her, as does the panamanian Pollera.

Pollera de Panamá

This merge of clothing and embroidering, embroiders, folds, and forms, is the patrimony of femenine spirit of a whole nation, a proud manifest of a woman that gets so beautiful that she fuses herself in the colors of the mother country.

Desfile de Polleras de Panama

Those who know and are the ancestral art of its intricate making know that its beauty enamors and to see a woman dressed in a pollera is to be dominated by something without being able to decipher what it is. It seems that in the designs sawn by hand there are words that only the soul understands, written in the old language of romance and seduction, jealously kept in a tradition that trascends ages.

The pollera, the luxurious one, the one for gala, the one that has made our country more beautiful and has scratched the most important halls in the world with silence of extraordinary admiration; is complemented, nonetheless, by other pieces that stand out the beauty of the woman wearing it. A variety of jewels and crowns that bring about the grace to our women. the panamanian women.

Among the most beautiful polleras, it is important to mention the Pollera de gala Santeña, because it is the most widely adopted design nationally and it is one most use in Panama.

Richly made, its structure is composed of two separated pieces: the shirt and polleron(big pollera), both made from fine selections of thread fabric and cotton..

Whoever takes a look at it with detail in mind, will be able to distinguish the patrons, often with floral designs, sawn by hand over the white background, the same way a delicate piece of art is drawn over linen cloth. Looking closer, one can admire the embroideries, made by hand as well, and sawn with and impecable care, and brought to artistic perfection rarely seen on a traditional dress, recreating over the linen cloth the fragile, beautiful and elegant sensation that the woman shows over its silloutte.

The woman is aldo adorned with gold jewels and delicate garments over her head, completing a unique and armonious outfit that stands out for its beauty and originality.

Better known as tembleques and peinetas, these two elements, made by the agile and artful hands or craftmen and craftwomen, help stand out the facial characteristics of the panamanian woman. Big eyes, full lips, and a wide smile, trimmed eyebrows and long eyelashes, dark skin, and a fresh look, that invites and provokes in the dance with the movements of the pollera, to come close to her and seduce her. To see her going and move her silloutte at the beat of the music and the Tipico dances, that is quite an spectacle.

About the jewelry that she carries, these are so attractive, of luxurious and expensive design, that anyone could say that the panamanian woman dressed with a pollera is one of riches, however, every piece, necklace, ring and peineta forms a part of her legacy that is kept and that will adorn the polleras of future generations.

Around this gold made jewelry, pearls, precious stones and corals, there is a whole tradition that rules how the must be worn.

The feet of the dressed up woman, are covered with shoes made from velvet, and don't have heels. This shoes, back in the times of the aristocracy, were adorned with gold clasps and it holds onto the feet with laces, and embroideries, making a contrast with the beauty and richness of the gold jewelry and the tipico dress.

The dresses also have different styles and there is a great variety and tradition that is respected and saved, while maintaining the pure art of the making of the pollera. In every detail of the embroideries and the movement, the "empollerada" can show the legacy of a proud Panama, rejoicing its roots and traditions.

According to the renown professor, Dora P. de Zarate (q.e.p.d.), one of the foremost authorities that the country has ever had regarding panamanian folklore, in her book "La Pollera Panameña", the amount of jewelry that accompany the Pollera are numerous Here are the descriptions to some of them.

The woman’s head is decorated with curved combs, decorated in gold filigree; a main large tortoise shell comb decorated with repoussé or engraved gold strips; and small decorative gold square temple patches (reminiscent of pain patches). Very elaborate gold earrings of a great variety are also worn. Around the combs on both sides and on the back of the head, natural white carnations are worn, or more commonly, delicate custom pearl bead flower, butterfly, or dragonfly shapes with gold or silver wire twists on pins cover the hair, resulting in a beautiful, elegant headdress.ver the head,

 

Around the neck, a gold filigree choker with small flower shapes, a slightly longer black ribbon choker with a coin modal or a golden cross. The main necklace is the long, Flat Chain with flat intertwined links with beautiful pendants that hangs around mid-chest level. The Betwitching Chain, very similar to the flat chain necklace, despite being of a similar length, can be gathered in the palm of the hand. The Solomon chain, made of links in the shape of columns; the scapular and the rosary, all delicate and made of gold, also hang gracefully from the neck.

 

As complementary jewelry, round gold buttons fashioned after coins, or in the shape of a half moon hold up the sides of the pollera skirt; also, gold rose-shaped, or pearl and gold buttons or brooches are used to hold up the sides of the pollera petticoat.

 



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Last Modified June 23, 2009