University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology


Author: Marjorie Vandervelde

Moon-children of San Blas Islands

By: Marjorie Vandervelde

Travelers who visit the San Blas Islands, just off the Atlantic coast of Panama, are surprised at the high incidence of albinism among Cuna Indians who live there. These white-skinned (or white-to-yellow) individuals stand out like the proverbial sore thumb, among their brown-skinned relatives. The albinos are called Moon-children, on the theory that one or […]


Meet the Chocos

By: Marjorie Vandervelde

From a small plane we looked down on tangled jungles of Darien Province, Panama. It was a green, undulating carpet crossing into Colombia without a break. Uncut by roads or rails the wilderness was split only by occasional rivers, like silver ribbons, emptying into the Pacific, polka-dotted here and there by Choco Indians’ isolated thatched […]