Molas and Molitas
Molas are the brightly colored applique panels
made only in the San Blas region of Panama by the Kuna Indians.
Despite their limited provenance, these dazzling textiles have
interested collectors and inspired artists all over the world.
The Kuna women observe the world around them and stitch into the
molas a wide variety of applique designs - from natural flora and fauna
to manmade products of the modern age. Other contemporary artists
of all persuasions observe molas and then adapt mola design in
their own ways, from paper collage and stencil patterns to wearable art
and home decorating items.
The Kuna Indians live on 50 or so of the more than 365 San Blas
islands off the east coast of Panama. Some also live on a narrow
mainland strip and in small towns across the South American border
in Columbia. These combined mainland and island areas of Panama
comprise the Comarca de Kuna Yala, or Kuna territory, and this is where
the world's molas are made.
Click Here to View our Selection of Molas
Mathews, Kate. Molas - Patterns, Techniques, Projects for
Colorful Applique (North Carolina: Lark Books, 1998).
| Day of the Dead | Mayan | Molas | Olmec | Pre Columbian