Object of the Day

Feast Days

2013.8.27jpgThe caption on the back of this photograph says “Montunas de Ocu, Countrywomen walk many miles visit to villages on Feast Days.”

Does anyone recognize these people? We are also looking for an estimated date and location.

What feast days were the most important in Panama?  Did you ever do anything special for a feast day celebration?

If you have any information about these festive people, please share with us in the comments section!


  • Carol Meyer

    I attended one of the Ocu Festivals in 1969. There were men carrying crosses, wearing crowns of thorn, dressed in purple robes accompanied by women, some of them also dressed in purple along the PanAm Hwy. as we got near to the Ocu turnoff. This was a week after Carnival as I recall and was a celebration of a special statue of Christ in the church in Ocu. Plus sort of an agricultural fair for people to attend. Perhaps someone else can recall more of the details of reasons for the festival.

  • Fred Sill

    My guess is that the “montuno” shirt hanging in the doorway is for sale, and was perhaps made by the lady in the photograph. The small town of Ocu was/is known for the excellent handiwork of the “montunos” and “polleras” made in the area, and my parents took me all the way up there — a four hour drive, at least — to pick out a shirt in 1950, when I turned 15. (My dad’s was from 1912.)

    Fred Sill

  • Lila Cheville

    Carol, Your description is of the festival in Atalaya, a town close to Santiago. The picture is certainly taken in the town of Ocu. The man is wearing a type of montuno used for every day. The montuno hanging in the doorway is the montuno used for festivals and I would judge the people in the doorway do not own this montuno. The women are wearing a type of montuna, again daily dress and not the montuna or pollera used for festivals. These are poor peasants who have probably walked many miles in from their farm. They may be there for the primary Saint’s Day which is San Sebastian, January 20. The festive dress for women in Ocu is called a pollera, but is very different that the pollera known in Los Santos.

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