An historical and ethnological survey of the Cuna Indians

Göteborg Museum10 • Published In 1938 • Pages: xxvii, 686 , plates

By: Nordenskiöld, Erland, érez Kantule, Ruben, Wassén, Henry.

The material in this document was arranged and edited from the manuscript and notes of Erland Nordenskiöld by Henry Wassén and from the original Cuna documents at the Gothenburg Ethnographical Museum. Many of these manuscripts were brought to Sweden by Nordenskiöld's native assistant, Ruben Pérez Kantule, who assisted in arranging and interpreting materials for Nordenskiöld and Wassén, after the death of the former. Wassén had for six months assisted Nordenskiöld and later made a trip to the regions occupied by the Cuna in order to study them so he was qualified to take over the task of putting in order the vast amount of material left by the author when he died. Wassén is responsible for the arrangement of the material because Nordenskiöld's manuscript was not completed and the comparative part of the work was entirely unwritten when editorial work began. For the complete story of the work of Nordenskiöld, Wassén and their informant, Ruben Pérez Kantule, see pages i-xxvii of the text. The excellent, original material appearing in this document is divided into seven parts covering the following topics: geography and population statistics; family and community organization, and various types of social relationships; political leaders; some Cuna texts; Cuna Indian ideology; medicine men and the treatment of various illnesses and disease; the use of magical songs in hunting, and songs sung primarily for pleasure. There are excellent plates of Cuna picture writing included. Throughout a great deal of this book the original text of various manuscripts appears on the left hand side of the page and the explained and translated text appears on the opposite side.
HRAF PubDate
Middle America and the Caribbean
Sub Region
Central America
Document Type
Leila Small ; 1951 ; 1966
Coverage Date
historical period to 1927
Coverage Place
San Blas, Panama
Erland Nordenskiöld, in collaboration with the Cuna Indian Ruben Pérez Kantule ; arranged and edited …by Henry Wassén ; preface by Walter Kaudern ; editorial chapter by Henry Wassén
Includes bibliographical references (p. 680-683)
Cuna Indians