Blouse panel

This mola, which means “cloth” in the Kuna language, features a two-headed beast – half bird and half jaguar – accompanied by a smaller crocodile-like animal. Mola imagery is inspired by traditional Kuna symbols and stories, and by imported popular culture through books and advertisements. Used as decorative blouse panels, molas are hand-sewn using a reverse-appliqué technique.


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  • Blouse

    Blouse

    North America: Central America, Panama, San Blas Islands

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  • Blouse Panel

    Blouse Panel

    North America: Central America, Panama, San Blas Islands

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  • Blouse Panel

    Blouse Panel

    North America: Central America, Panama, San Blas Islands

    View More 
  • Blouse Panel

    Blouse Panel

    North America: Central America, Panama: San Blas Islands

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If you created your own mola, what would it look like?

responded: Apr 15, 2010

Posted by Jennifer Campbell

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My mola is a picture of my childhood rocking horse, Buttermilk, which my father made for me. The Kuna people create molas out of their own symbols and stories and many of them feature animals. I chose my rocking horse because it’s an animal—an abstract one, anyway—and it’s a part of my family history. After I was done with it, the horse was passed down through my siblings and cousins, which lead to the loss of part of its tail, which you can see in the mola.

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