Muñecos in Panama

P1000643We drove across Panama twice in the last few days. Since it is the week between Christmas and New Years, we saw an unusual (and really cool) sight. Around the Santiago area, there were life-sized dolls, Muñecos, dressed as sports figures, action heroes and other personalities all along the Pan American Highway. They are really well done. They are made from paper mache, painted, decorated with clothing, hair and accessories. They take weeks and weeks to complete one.



In the past, there have been muñecos of television personalities, George Bush, Osama bin Laden, sports stars and local militants.


One of the customs in this area is to make these Muñecos to burn during the New Years celebration. The idea is to burn off the old year. The figures represent team members, political enemies, and others. They are filled with firework. It’s believed that by burning them, the fire and explosions will ward of bad spirits and evil forces. What is surprising is that these dolls are all happy, not looking at all like enemies.

We live about 3 hours from the Santiago area but I think we may burn one next year.

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2 thoughts on “Muñecos in Panama

  1. Pingback: Feliz Año Nuevo (Happy New Year!) | The Panama Adventure

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