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Afroantillean Fair 2017


[The first thing you notice upon entering the fair is the delicious smell of the West Indian cuisine stands.]

The first thing you notice upon entering the fair is the delicious smell of the West Indian cuisine stands.


[Fish, curry, coconut and many other ingredients are present in the many tasty dishes that are traditional in the Afrocaribbean community in Panama.]

Fish, curry, coconut and many other ingredients are present in the many tasty dishes that are traditional in the Afrocaribbean community in Panama.


[Other stands sell handicrafts related to the Black ethnicities of our country.]

Other stands sell handicrafts related to the Black ethnicities of our country.


[Women were able to wear the traditional headdress prepared by expert hands.]

Women were able to wear the traditional headdress prepared by expert hands.


[Musical performances by Panamanian artists are an important part of the fair.]

Musical performances by Panamanian artists are an important part of the fair.


[Many audience members took advantage of the great music to dance.]

Many audience members took advantage of the great music to dance.


[For kids, too, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun.]

For kids, too, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun.


[During a break of the show, the Queen and one of the Princesses of the fair shared a fun moment with a member of the audience.]

During a break of the show, the Queen and one of the Princesses of the fair shared a fun moment with a member of the audience.


[At all times, the queue for the food was full.]

At all times, the queue for the food was full.


[Another sought after product is the bun, a traditional bread from the West Indies.]

Another sought after product is the bun, a traditional bread from the West Indies.


[The other Black community of Panama, the Afrocolonial, was present with their Congo dance.]

The other Black community of Panama, the Afrocolonial, was present with their Congo dance.


[As this picture shows, the Afroantillean Fair congregates several thousand people every year.]

As this picture shows, the Afroantillean Fair congregates several thousand people every year.


[Despite her age, the Queen Mother of the Congos, Mrs. Alejandrina Lam, joined the dance.]

Despite her age, the Queen Mother of the Congos, Mrs. Alejandrina Lam, joined the dance.


[The fair offers a great chance to enjoy several hours in a family setting.]

The fair offers a great chance to enjoy several hours in a family setting.


By:

Marino Jaén Espinosa
2017-03-14

A very different way of celebrating Carnavales is to attend the Afroantillean Fair, held every year on Saturday and Sunday during the Carnavales. Many families attend the event as it serves as a meeting point even for Panamanians who live abroad and take advantage of the season to visit the country.

The fair honors the Afroantillean heritage of a sizable percentage of Panama's population. During the final decades of the 19th Century and the first two of the 20th Century, many people from the English and French speaking islands of the Caribbean migrated to Panama in order to work in the building of the Canal. Many stayed and from them we received many cultural items such as cuisine, dresses, music and handicrafts shown in the fair.

If you would like to attend the next edition of this fair, learn the dates by visiting our Digital Calendar of Heritage Events of Panama (in Spanish).


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