Children of the Moon: San Blas Islands Albinos

Albinos are a common site in the San Blas islands. One out of 145 Kunas carry this genetic endogamic trait.


The condition of albinism is characterized by a significant deficit in the production of melanin, which results in the partial or complete absence of pigment in any part or all of the skin, hair, and eyes. Albinism often results in two congenital and permanent health conditions: visual impairment to varying degrees and high vulnerability to skin damage from ultraviolet rays.


Unlike other parts of the world where albinos face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination on the grounds of disability and colour, and are often excluded from public, sipus, (kuna word which literally means "white") were given a relevant position in the rich Kuna mythology.