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Collection Artifact Details

Blouse Panel

Type: Clothing - Garment
Object Name: Blouse Panel
Local Name: mola
Place Made: North America: Central America, Panama, San Blas Islands
People: Kuna
Period: Mid 20th century
Date: 1960 - 1970
Dimensions: L 34 cm x W 39 cm
Materials: Cotton
Techniques: Appliquéd; reverse appliquéd; embroidered
ID Number: T2005.19.10
Credit: Gift of D. James Newland from the collection of Sheilagh P. Ryan

Mola means “blouse” in the Kuna language. Molas are hand-sewn using a reverse-appliqué technique and used as decorative blouse panels. The designs are created by cutting through several layers of cloth to expose the various bright colours beneath. Mola imagery is inspired by traditional Kuna symbols and stories, and by imported popular culture through books and advertisements.