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Drawing with Scissors: Molas from Kuna Yala - Travelling

Curated by Max Allen

Exhibition Overview

After Panama became an independent nation in 1903, a law was passed that said the “wild indigenous tribes,” notably the Kuna, had to be “compelled to lead civilized lives.” Women’s blouses called mola, with their geometric and pictorial patterns that articulated the Kuna understanding of the world, were banned. At this point the Kuna had had enough of colonial interference, and the result was their 1925 Revolution. Following a period of negotiation, the Kuna established the right to practice their traditions as well as gaining virtual autonomy over their own territory in the San Blas Islands, now called Kuna Yala.

The graphic panels on the mola blouses – done in reverse appliqué and embroidery – depict everything the Kuna see around them, from ancient plant and animal spirits to reimagined television news and Disney characters.

Additional Information

Content
  up to 170 molas from the TMC collection.
Additional Resources
  Didactic panels, labels, educational resource guide, and dvd
Availability
  Please inquire
Duration
 
Full size:
   
Run FT/Sq. Ft
  Flexible
Security
  Standard
Facility Requirements
  Flexible space, professional museum environment
Rental Fee
  To be negotiated. For travelling exhibition package contact Roxane Shaughnessy, rshaughnessy@textilemuseum.ca
<i>Drawing with Scissors</i>, installation view, 2010. Photo: John Alexander
<i>Drawing with Scissors</i>, installation view, 2010. Photo: John Alexander
<i>Drawing with Scissors</i>, installation view, 2010. Photo: John Alexander
Blouse, <i>mola</i>, San Blas Islands, Panama, 20th century
Blouse panel, <i>mola</i>, San Blas Islands, Panama, 20th century
Blouse panel, <i>mola</i>, San Blas Islands, Panama, 20th century
View Collection Artifacts from this Exhibition