Page Two. THE BLUE BONNET
-: THE BLUE BONNET :-
OVEMBER 5, 1935
A " eekly pubUeaUoll, . ubllahM " y tit. ut..•
eomp. ny of the U. S. 8. HOUSTON. C&~
lain G. E. Bak. r. U. 8. N.. c...........
. nd Comm. nder P. L ..... « e.. U••• N.
E: neutln Ollleer.
En. hrn C. J. Haekend•• IUltor.
A. it. Editor, Ro C. BaIl. Ch. pay Clark
Lt. Comdr. R. W. Shrum, ( ChC) Ena. W. C. Murphy
A..... ei. te Editor RoW. O'Brlen, BHle.
EIc! h. nl'e Editor W. H. O. borne Y3e.
H. R. Me eoby, AOMlc. S. D. St. ndafer, Seale.
Rudelle P. E., RMlc. Kitchen H. E. Cpl.
. R. Glider Sic.
The San BIas Indian is reputed to be
one of the pur'est aboriginal trains in
America. He is very proud of his race
and, unlike other Indian tribes, he has
been careful to keep his blood stream
pure. The male is short of stature, seldom
being over five feet in height. He
is stockily built, having broad shoulders,
a deep barrel chest and a short
stocky neck. His hips are narrow and
his leg are well proportioned. He
has the high cheek bone, straight
black hair and copper colored skin so
characteristic of the American Indain.
His nose is flat and very broad.
The female has much the same characteristics
of the male, lacking the
broad shoulder . They all had quite
g- ood figure. one of the males or
females were fat and all carried themselves
The men dress in store made trous
rs and hirts. The women however
ad the picturesque touch by wearing
a compl x designed and white patchwork
dr ss usually bordered and topp
d by yellow, black, or green cloth.
An endless amount of work seems to
b put in these dresses. Women the
world over are never satisfied with
the faces God g- ave them. These women
do not depend so much on cosm
tic' a do our American women,
althoug- h they do use a small amount
of rouge on their cheek , but rather on
a triang- ular shaped brass ring in their
noses; large ear rings, two to four inches
in diameter, made of gold; a
scar running the entire length of their
nose and a band of stringed beads
some two inches wide wrapped tightly
around their ankles. The ear rings
The folks at home will enjoy reading
the BLUE BONNET. Mail it.
lIIary had a little plane
In which she liked to frisk
Now wasn't that an awful shame
Her little • • • • • • ••••
clothes on. Now and then the side
walls are decorated with posters of
bright colors advertising an old cinema
that has probably been picked up
in Panama or left by some trader who
occasionally stops to buy coconuts.
Some of the huts have a lean- to attached
that is used as a community
kitchen by several families occupying
These homes are located in a helter
skelter fashion in most of the villages;
but, in some they are arranged in an
orderly fashion with a main street
running the width of the village.
The daily meal which is cooked
over an open fire seems to consist
mostly of boiled fish, grated coconuts,
bananas and plantains. Corn, grain
and pOl'k must sometimes vary the diet
because corn and millet can be seen
drying in every village. A small variety
of pigs which are kept in small
pens are also een. Now and then an
occasional chicken also is seen.
Although the only flooring is the
natural sand of the islands, the dwellings
appeared to be remarkably clean.
As a matter of fact the entire island
gave one the impression of being remarkably
free from filth and dirt.
The chief recreation of the children
seems to be playing in the water.
Little tots who were hardly old enough
to walk could be seen paddling about
in dugout canoes. Sailing also seemed
to occupy a dreat deal of their time.
Graceful sailing canoes could be seen
all over the bay. The men and boys
seemed quite skilled in the use of the
bow and arrow. On our first visit we
saw boys in canoes shoot pelicans at
a distance of fifty yards.
At each place we visited they seemed
quite willing to trade or sell anything
they owned with the excepion
of the ear plates and the rings that
the women wore in their noses. They
value their trinkets quite highly from
a monetary point of view; but, it was
surpri ing what a bar of soap or a
pack of cigarettes would bring in
trade. The author got a wonderful
three foot sailing model of a schooner
for an old green shirt. Anything with
color in it seemed to catch their eye.
or rather ear- plates, Jem to indicate
a distinct social status. The beads on
their ankles are worn to preserve a
shapely ankle in the same manner as
the Chinese women bind their feet to
keep them small. Acording to what
we could gather from the Indian
themselves, the scar was to ward off
sickness and evil spirits; but, other
authorities say that it is part of their
The women refused to pose before
a camera. They would run at the
sight of one. They didn't seem to be
afraid of the camera but hid rather as
an act of modesty. F01' no amount of
persuasion or gifts would they stand
before the evil machine. The men and
small boys, however, made no fuss
about having their pictures taken.
They all seemed very happy and jolly.
In fact they would laugh at the slightest
The small boys until the age of nine
or ten go stark naked. The little girls
on the other hand are dressed in much
the same manner as their mother from
the day they first walk.
It is estimated that there are some
35,000 of these San BIas Indians living
in these various island villages
which stretch for some hundred miles
along the Panamanian coast. The
group vi ited by the HOUSTO party
is known as the Cartai Islands.
Each group of these flat low- lying
i lands is governed by a chief, with
a local sub- chief on each island. Each
of these islands is located about a mile
off the mainland from which they carry
their drinking water in dug- out
canoes. On this mainland they also
carryon what little agriculture they
engage in. Thi consi ts in growing a
small amount of corn and millet. The
islands themselve are used only for
dwelling, outside of a few scattered
trees there are nothing but dwellings.
The huts themselves which are made
of bamboo side wall. and thached
roofs vary in size from 10xlO to 2" x
20 feet. They are located only a few
feet apart with hardly walking space
between one house and the next. Each
of these huts seem to house some
four 01' five families. The insides of
the huts are perfectly bare of furniture.
Hammocks are used to sleep in.
These hammock are slung between
the uprights that support the roof.
There is also usually a rack made of
a cross pole with pegs in it to hang
John Bori8, Se. 2e.
THE* SA BL* AS IND* IANS
G. W. Baker, Sea2c.