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.


Collection Connections 

  • 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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How have mola panel designs changed over time?

responded: Mar 31, 2010

Posted by Erika A. Iserhoff

337
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Last year I had the amazing opportunity to interview and visit with two Kuna mola artists, Lois DeLeon Kantule and Domitila DeLeon de Fernandez in Panama. In these pictures Domitila and Lois are talking about the history and changes mola's went through over many generations. They said that the mola began as geometric designs that were painted and tattooed on the body. The traditional tattoo designs were latter worked into woven cotton cloth and made into garments. The effects of Colonization drastically changed these practices, and now molas are made out of imported trade cloth. Domitila and Lois have also been working to reclaim and repatriate traditional Kuna designs found in molas in museums around the world. response...
 

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