Art, Design, Textiles
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Molas: Kuna Textiles of Panama

I just returned from Costa Rica. As usual, I was on a hunt to satisfy my textile obsession. While the indigenous communities of Costa Rica are not known for textile production, I managed to discover a group that is, just over the border in Panama.

The Kuna Indians, a tribal community occupying the San Blas islands off the Eastern coast of Panama are recognized for their colorful geometric cotton panels referred to as Molas. The elaborate, artistic textiles are created utilizing a reverse appliqué technique applied to several layers of different color cloth, through which designs are carved. Molas have become a part of the traditional dress of the Kuna women. They are attached to the front of blouses and skirts as a form of artistic expression and a celebration of the culture.

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