At the Cristobal Pier, at the Panama Cruise Port in Colon, Panama, Central America, you will find hundreds – maybe even thousands – of unique arts and crafts. Most of these souvenirs are hand-made by local people.

The shopping center is an expansive building, and very lively with tourists and locals.

One of the most interesting activities going on at the port was a folklore musical performance by the Emberá people, also known as the Chocó or Katío Indians – indigenous people of Panama and Colombia.

They were selling musical instruments made of hollowed-out turtle shells that clicked and clacked when struck.

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The shell I played was large (about 12″ long and 8″ wide), and it was hollowed out.

The smiling tribeswoman handed me a stick with the shell, and gestured to me to strike the stick on the inside of shell. It was a percussion instrument of sort. Reminded me of how musicians use a cow bell for additional “oomph” during a song.

They were also selling carved wooden instruments in the shape of frogs. They were very fun! The backs of the carved frogs had vertical points that you would strike a stick along the back. Amazingly, they sounded like a frog croaking! Very cool.

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