Magazine article Geographical

Then & Now

Magazine article Geographical

Then & Now

Article excerpt

Extracts from GEOGRAPHICAL'S archives

60 years ago

This month in May 1940

The Islands of San Bias by George D Aked

A long time ago the tribe of Indians who now inhabit the San Bias Islands lived on the mainland of Panama. The similarity of their customs and beliefs with those of the Chucunaque suggest that the two peoples were once united. Explorers who have visited both tribes believe that the San Bias Indians broke away from the mainland to escape the diseases by which the Chucunaque were being ravaged. They are an independent people, these islanders, proud of their race and determined that their stock shall be kept pure. Half-breeds are not wanted; and at one time illegitimate children were buried alive at birth. Until quite recently strangers were not allowed to land, and still on many of the islands they are not permitted to spend the night ashore. …

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