Ceramics, Foodways, and Identity in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Author(s): Jerry Howard

Year: 2017


The Island of Isla Colon in the western Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama has long been a place of trade and exchange. In the period shortly before Old World contact, different native groups visited the region producing an array of material evidence. Regionally diverse ceramics found on the island demonstrate a plethora of styles and traditions from both northern and southern regions during this ancient period. The practice of ceramic diversity on Isla Colon continued well into the historic period, as Afro-Caribbeans who migrated to the island established extensive trade networks with native and English merchants, introducing English made ceramics to the culture. The historic ceramics recovered from Sitio Drago reveal signs of continuity and change present in foodways. Through a specific selection process these ceramics also offer another glimpse into the identity of Bocas’ historic inhabitants. I suggest that such contributions are the foundations for a Bocatoreno identity.

Cite this Record

Ceramics, Foodways, and Identity in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Jerry Howard. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435213)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 544