Category Archives: Textile

Molas: Textile Art of Kuna People

Molas: Textile Art of Kuna People

Molas are the colorful, multi-layered appliqué panels of blouses worn by Kuna women of Panama. The Kuna live in a region called Kuna Yala, which means “Kuna Land.” This area, more formally known as the San Blas Archipelago, lies off the eastern coast of Panama. Molas developed after Spanish colonization, in particular within the past 100 years when cotton yard cloth became commonly available to the Kuna. The intricately designed and sewn molas are attached to the front and/or back of women’s blouses and are considered a major form of artistic expression and ethnic identity.