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  1. MOLAS!

  2. WHAT IS A MOLA? • The artistry of a molashows traditional San Blas KunaIndian culture with the influences of the modern world. • Molaart developed when Kuna women had access to extra fabric. • Moladesigns are often inspired by political posters, labels, pictures from books and TV cartoons, as well as traditional themes from Kuna legends and culture. SQUIRREL PLANT SPIDER

  3. WHERE IS PANAMA? • Panamá has a diverse and culturally rich Indigenous(original) population. • Threatened by environmental destruction of their lands and invasion by outside groups, the tribal people of Panamá have managed to preserve much of their culture and traditions.

  4. ABOUT THE ARTISTS? Mola makers are traditionally women. Many hours of careful sewing are required to create a fine mola. The ability to make an outstanding mola is a source of status among Kuna women.

  5. A MEANS OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT • Crafts for sale to outsiders have developed from the traditional material culture and now help maintain tribal identity as well as provide other ways of support when people can no longer depend completely on a traditional lifestyle.

  6. WHY ARE THEY ART? • Geometric molas are the most traditional, having developed from ancient body painting designs. • number of layers •fineness of stitching • •evenness and width of cutouts • •addition of details such as zigzag borders, lattice-work or embroidery • •general artistic merit of the design and color combination.

  7. HOW ARE THEY DISPLAYED? • Since mola panels have been worn as part of the traditional dress of a Kuna woman they often show signs of wear such as fading and stitch marks along the edges of the panels. These "imperfections" indicate that the mola is authentic. Molasare often sold in pairs, the pair consisting of the back and front panels of a blouse. The two molas are usually two variations on a theme.

  8. How are they displayed? • Molapanels have many uses. They can be framed as art or made into pillows, place mats or wall hangings. Some people even make them into bedspreads or incorporate them into quilting projects.

  9. NOW YOU TRY! STEP 1: Decide on your inspiration whether it be abstract, animal or nature STEP 2: Choose 5-6 colors of paper STEP 3: Layer them together and staple the edges securely all the way around STEP 4: Using your scissors cut through the layers carefully to reveal the layers underneath STEP 5: You may need to glue small pieces back into place as you cut