Welcome to Guna Yala – Very FIRST Stereotypes-Free Territory with “Third Gender” or Gender Fluid People

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In a small indigenous island of Guna Yala off Panama’s eastern coast, a new term ‘third gender’ is becoming more popular and is breaking all stereotypes about the genders. 

Read the details on Nexter.org.

Where is Guna Yala?

Source: Pesantez Tours

Guna Yala, aka San Blas, is an indigenous province in northeast Panama. Guna Yala is homeplace to the indigenous people known as the Gunas.

In fact, 49 of 300 islands of Panama’s eastern coast are inhabited by the indigenous Guna people. Guna Yala also is an autonomous territory and has its own flag with a left-facing swastika referring to the four directions of the world.

Natural gender equality 

Source: Paul Stewart

Except for what is mentioned before, Guna Yala is unique in its nature, resulting in the tolerant gender equality or even gender fluidity.

Egle Gerulaityte met a girl named Liza that showed her. Liza looks like other Guna women, except for the fact that she was actually born as a boy.

“My mother taught me how to make these beautiful molas, our traditional embroidered clothes,” Lisa said, showing her work to Egle Gerulaityte. “Some of these represent birds and animals, but some are very powerful – they will protect you from evil spirits,” she added.

Omeggid – the third gender

Source: Nandín Solís García

The case with Liza is quite common for Guna Yala. In this province, the boys are able to choose to become Omeggid, which literally means ‘like a woman’, so they would behave, act and work like other women in Guna Yala.

Gender fluid person is an absolutely normal phenomenon on the islands. If a male wants to behave like a female, the parents receive it pretty much normal and bring him up as a girl.

Commonly, the third gender people start to learn a skill associated with the other gender women as it happened to Omeggid Liza crafting molas – traditional women’s clothing of the Guna people.

“The Guna have taught me that children should have sufficient autonomy, as their ‘self’ comes from the heart, from within, and starts manifesting early. So if a male child starts showing a tendency toward being , (s)he is not prevented to be himself,” said Diego Madi Dias, an anthropologist.

“There are important creation stories about the original leaders who brought the traditions, rules and guidelines for the Guna people to live by: a man named Ibeorgun, his sister Gigadyriai and his little brother Wigudun – a figure that belonged to what we would call the ‘third gender’,” Dias said comparing the history and mythology of Guna Yala.


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Summary
Welcome to Guna Yala - Very FIRST Stereotypes-Free Territory with "Third Gender" or Gender Fluid People
Title
Welcome to Guna Yala - Very FIRST Stereotypes-Free Territory with "Third Gender" or Gender Fluid People
Description
In a small indigenous island of Guna Yala off Panama’s eastern coast, a new term ‘third gender’ is becoming more popular and is breaking all stereotypes about the genders. 
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