Our Concept of The Mola Designs
The mola, is a handmade material that forms part of the traditional outfit of the Kuna people. The full costume traditionally includes a patterned wrapped skirt, a red and yellow headscarf, arm and leg beads, a gold nose ring and earrings in addition to the mola blouse.
In Dulegaya, which is the Kuna's native language, "mola" means shirt or clothing. The mola originated with the tradition of Kuna women painting their bodies with geometric designs, using available natural colors. In later years these same designs were woven in cotton, and later still, sewn using cloth bought from the European settlers of Panamá.
Molas have their origin in body painting. Only after colonization by the Spanish and contact with missionaries did the Kuna start to transfer their traditional geometric designs on fabric, first by painting directly on the fabric and later by using the technique of reverse appliqué. It is not known for certain when this technique was first used. It is assumed that the oldest molas are between 150 and 170 years old.
As an inspiration for their designs, the Kuna first used the geometrical patterns which have been used for body painting before. In the past 50 years, they have also depicted realistic and abstract designs of flowers, sea animals and birds, and popular culture. This is a very Important part of my culture, the Panamanian culture.
I hope you are as inspired as I am. Pifia Uniendo Culturas