Among the Embera natives, there are cultural differences due to the environment in which they live. Thus the Embera are made up of two large groups: Dobida and Eyabida. The Dobida are people whose way of life revolves around the river: their houses and orchards are on the banks of the river, fishing is a permanent activity.
Among the Eyabida are the Embera Katío and the Embera Chamí. The Embera Chamí share the Embera's pre-Hispanic and colonial history, characterized by their continued resistance to conquering raids until the 17th century, when most peoples fled into the jungles. These people are distinguished by the dispersion of their populations located on river basins, where for hundreds of years they have developed a culture adapted to the ecosystems of the tropical rainforest.
Its political organization is based on the cabildo, a figure which, although essential to the community's external relations, has not displaced the power of traditional authorities to establish forms of social control. As with other Emberá groups, the Jaibaná, male or female, has a very important role in managing the magico-religious life of the group.
The present-day Embera peoples (Katío, Chamí, Dodiba and Eperara Siapidara) of the pre-Hispanic era shared a common space and similar cultural characteristics such as language, cosmovision, Jaibanism, territorial mobility, decentralized government and life in la selva, and its forms of organization and representation (Ulloa, 2004) In what was once organized over a vast territory and united by social relations of different orders, the process of colonization began that divided and segmented the territory Embera.
Today, at the end of the 20th century, the Emberás with a fragmented territory due to the processes of conquest, colonization and contact with other cultures (indigenous, black, white) and having for each region its particularities, maintain cohesion at the cultural level with very strong elements of identity such as their language, oral tradition, Jaibanism, social organization and a new political organization through regional organizations (Ulloa, 2004).
In recent decades, they have been faced with the problem of the considerable reduction of their territories due to the expansion of the agricultural frontier as well as the deterioration of their soils; these phenomena have favored transformations in their mode of residence and the exploitation of the environment.