March 03, 2011

Mola: A Textile Art.

     Molas are the textile art made by the Kuna Indians who live in the northwest of the Isthmus of Panama, known as “Comarca de San Blas”.
     The origin of the mola comes from the painting of the body (tattoos) which was then transferred to fabrics. The Molas represent the cosmogonic thought, a graphical view of a world full of colorful and full of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic meaning of the indigenous culture. The striking and colorful geometric shapes paint mythological scenes, the creation of the world, custom scenes, flora and fauna of the region inhabited by the Kuna Indians.


     Molas are the decorative apparel fabrics, square or rectangular shapes, worked inside out with the embroidery technique called applied embroidery (appliqué / reverse), made with colorful cotton fabrics of different colors. Stack consists of 3 to 5 layers of fabrics of different colors, and cut the shape in the form of ornaments, from the first layer to show the color underneath. The cutting then finally is folded. The color of the lower layer creates the outline of the image. Only the last layer is not cut. The best molas consist between 4 and 6 layers, embroidered with tiny stitches, with regular and balanced colors.
     The confection of a MOLA can take 30 hours to double or triple the time, depending on the degree of design complexity and the number of layers of fabric they have.
     Kuna women are who make the molas and each one is unique and unrepeatable. Traditionally it’s part of the Kuna’s feminine attire (chest and back of the blouse of the woman) and an element of cultural identity that characterizes the people. The mola is drawn up by the woman who will use it, so its characteristics depend on the taste of the author, as well as its texture and size.


     In addition to making the molas for clothes, Kuna Indians make molas to sell to the people that appreciate the beauty of the design and colors. They are usually sold in rectangular or square cloth to put them in a picture frame to hang on the wall or where you most appreciate them. For example, I have seen molas in furniture cushions, framed molas, decorating offices or homes, in blankets for bedding, and on clothing as well as in women and men.
     I made a video of all the molas I found online and had good resolution in order to appreciate the details and colors in video of this wonderful art of the Kunas.

1 comment:

Jack said...

Estoy probando los Comments.