Updated: Jul 20, 2022
Mola means clothing in the Kuna language! These brightly colored textile art panels were used to make decorative women's blouses and skirts to uphold the value of their tradition and identity as Kuna people. These designs were originally a tradition where Kuna women would paint their bodies with geometric designs.
The traditional textile craft is handmade from several layers of different colored fabric embroidered together in patterns, cutting away parts of each layer and hand reverse appliqueing it. Molas were discovered up to 170 years ago in Panama by the women of the Kuna tribe in the San Blas islands.
The most popular designs for a mola include birds, fish, animals, flowers, and plants!
Some say they represent living history books that show hidden protective symbols or legends and stories. It is believed to leave little to no space or the evil spirits will settle in the free spaces, similar to European art, known as 'horror vacui' - the fear of empty space.
Find out what the Mola symbols mean here -> https://www.panama-mola.com/english/what-are-molas/meaning-of-mola-symbols/
Learn More: https://sanblas-islands.com/kuna-indians/art/
Make a paper Mola! Try this activity with your family and friends! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APPU1eNC9zo
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Kurt Youngblood Framing and Art
2313 NW Military Hwy Ste 100 San Antonio, TX 78231-2522