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Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Center of the World

Over these Tierras Altas (Highlands) stands the imposing presence of the tallest mountain in Panamá, Volcán Barú, or, as I think of him, Abuelo (Grandfather). By the Ngäbe Buglé inhabitants he is called Kdi, meaning “Big” or “Great”. The name “Barú”, I have been told, is how the Spanish mispronounced Marú, which in the Ngäbe Buglé language refers to the fuerza or fuego del Sol, the power or fire of the Sun. What is more, the valley over which he rules, the valley in which I live, is called in the same language Charaqué (my spelling of the word after listening to my oral sources), which means “The

Valley of the Moon”, and which, mispronounced by the Spanish, gives this province of Chiriquí its name.

These names are appropriate, calling to mind the complementary glories of the sun rising from behind the mountain in the chilly morning and sending its light down into the deeper alpine valleys, and the limpid moon floating over Barú and firing the crags with an invisible sheen of silver. And at sunset, when red and orange beams from the west strike fire upon the rocky


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1 comment:

  1. The pictures absolutely capture the beauty, spirituality and grandeur of the mountain.

    Be Blessed