The Kuna live in three politically autonomous comarcas or reservations in Panama, and in a few small villages in Colombia. There are also communities of Kuna people in Panama City, Colón, and other cities. The greatest number of Kuna people live on small islands in the comarca of Kuna Yala. The other two Kuna comarcas in Panama are Kuna de Madugandi and Kuna de Wargandi.
The economy of Kuna Yala is based on agriculture and fishing, and has a long tradition of international trade. Plantains, coconuts, and fish form the core of the Kuna diet, supplemented with a few domestic animals, wild game, and imported foods. Foods available seasonally include mangos and crabs; these generally do not have a market price. The cultivation of vegetables has declined in recent years. Coconuts are the largest cash crop, and migrant labor and the sale of molas (see below) provide other sources of income. Most imported goods originate from Colombian ships and are sold in retail stores owned by Kuna people. Tourism is an important part of the economy in the Carti region, and the drug trade provides occasional windfalls for a few people.
The Kuna language is a Native American language of the Chibchan family spoken by 50,000 to 70,000 people. Kuna is the primary language of daily life in the comarcas, and the majority of Kuna children speak the language. Spanish is also widely used, especially in education and written documents. Although it is relatively viable, Kuna is considered an endangered language.
The Kuna are famous for their molas, a colorful textile art form made with the techniques of applique and reverse applique. Mola panels are used to make the blouses of the Kuna women's national dress, which is worn daily by many Kuna women. Mola means "clothing" in the Kuna language. The Kuna word for a mola blouse is dulemola, "Kuna people's clothing."
Kuna is the name of the currency used in Croatia. Currency code is HRK. One kuna equals 100 lipa. One Euro equals around 7.5 kuna (2003). The word kuna means marten in Croatian, while the word lipa means linden. It has no relation to the various currencies named "kruna", it's used because some medieval trading was done in marten fur.