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Collection Artifact Details

Blouse

Type: Clothing - Garment
Object Name: Blouse
Local Name: mola
Place Made: North America: Central America, Panama, San Blas Islands
People: Kuna
Period: Late 20th century
Date: c 1980
Dimensions: L 48 cm x W 70 cm
Materials: Cotton
Techniques: Printed; hand-sewn; reverse appliquéd; embroidered; appliquéd
ID Number: T95.0210a
Credit: Gift of Audrey Hozack

The Kuna people inhabit the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama. After centuries of struggle with the English, French and Spanish, the Kuna are now self-governing. A mola is a blouse worn by Kuna women. This mola features two similar (but not identical) panels on the front and back showing two fish swimming in opposite directions. Molas often show creatures swimming, flying and crawling, though they are also used as a canvas for political themes.

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