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6473 In order to reach thigh part of the interior country
one boards a small coasting vessel at Panama and sails
southeastward sixty miles along the shore to the Bayano
river, then follows up the river among wooded hills and
tropical jungles. There are no' towns in this part of the
country. A village of a dozen or twenty huts like these
constitutes a metropolis.
House-building here requires little labor and less capit-
al. Bare earth constitutes the floor. Four posts with a
few cross-beams make a sufficient frame; bundles of
palm-leaf tied in place make walls as tight as anybody
cares to have in this tropical climate, and a thatch of
similar material serves to keep out the worst of the rain.
Cheap calico and muslin are brought now and then from
Panama or from some smaller seaport settlement, in
exchange for surplus bananas and cocoanuts. It is the
Simple Life reduced almost to its lowest terms.
The rice which these grimy youngsters are pounding
(to remove the husks) is a poor quality, raised on a very
small scale by the most primitive methods. That mortar
was cut out of a single section of timber, and is as elabor-
ate a piece of furniture as the family owns. The rice
will be cooked in an iron pot over a fire of wood or
The population in a village like this is of mixed blood--
partly Spanish, partly Indian, with an occasional admix-
ture of African by way of negroes from the West Indies.
The prevailing speech is corrupt dialect of Spanish.
Most of the village people are wholly illiterate; some of
them have heard of the glories of Panama city, but of
the rest of the world they have not the most vague idea.
From Notes of Travel No. 40, copyright
by Underwood &
Pounding rice in a village in the interior of Panama.
tcrasant du riz,.,dans un village de l'int6rieur, Panama.
)a~ 3eritampfen ber teift'irner in einem )orfe im 3nneren
Moliendo arroz en una aldea del interior de PanamA.
Malning af risgryn i en by i det inre af Panama.
ToAjeHie pnea B b AepesBH~ Bo BHyTpeHHOA IIaHaMI.
I I I I I I I