Balser'as

Balser’as

On or around February 12
The Guaymía people of Chiriqui Province in Panama meet near February 12 to catch up on tribal affairs. This is also an occasion for the single men to hold an unusual competition amongst each other for available young women. The men line up in rows so that they face each other and hold small logs of balsa, a light wood. The men then try to eliminate each other from the contest by throwing the logs at each other's ankles with such force that they injure each other. The only allowable way for the men to avoid broken bones and other injuries is to constantly leap and dance out of the way of the logs. Those who manage to survive this frenzy intact and without being harmed are allowed to choose from among the young women.
CONTACTS:
Panama Embassy
2862 McGill Terr. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-483-1407; fax: 202-483-8413
www.embassyofpanama.org
SOURCES:
FiestaTime-1965, p. 30