33+ Yr Old Authentic Kuna Indian Mola Panel Panama San Blas Islands Applique 1 For Sale

At least 33 year old 17x14" authentic Kuna Mola panel. This one has many layers and is finely stitched. Bright Bold colors. Excellent condition. PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO INSPECT THE PHOTOS CAREFULLY. The detail and craftsmanship in this piece is amazing.>>> PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO READ BELOW ABOUT MY MOLAS<<<**In 1980 my father went to Panama and the San Blas Islands. There he purchased many Mola panels from the local Kuna women. He was lucky enough to get many that were already worn or older at the time, not just the ones that are made to sell to tourists. Many of these panels had been made and worn on the shirts of the native women, and had been removed from their shirts when they wanted new panels. As such, a lot of my Mola panels show signs of wear, fading, washing, and general use. Also many have the traditional Geometric and "maze" or "brain coral" designs which were more popular in the 60's and 70's, making them much more traditional and desireable than their modern "picture" counterparts. These Kuna Mola panels are authentic handmade panels, created to be worn by their makers. They were worn and used on the women's clothing during their everyday lives, until they were removed and replaced. After purchasing these, they were boxed up and stored until now. Each of my Molas are at least 33 to 50 years old, guaranteed!They may need to be washed, as they were part of clothing from a hot region, and haven't been cleaned in decades. Molas are washable, and can be put on the gentle cycle in cold water with a mild detergent with no problems. They are typically made of cotton and dont require much special treatment. These can be framed and displayed or used in a wide variety of sewing crafts. Pillows, dolls, handbags and quilts are common "upcycling" uses for retired Molas.

**************I will be adding about 90 Molas that were purchased on this trip. Some were new at the time of purchase (1980) but most were older Molas that had been used and worn in the Kuna clothing. I will try to guess which are which, and notate it in each sale. If you are interested in collecting authentic Molas that weren't made just for tourists, you've just hit the jackpot.This would be a great time to add me to your favorite sellers list and check back often!****************

IWILL HAPPILY SHIP SEVERAL MOLAS TOGETHER TO SAVE ON SHIPPING COST. iF BUYING MORE THAN ONE, PLEASE WAIT TO BE INVOICED WITH THE ADJUSTED PRICE BEFORE PAYING.

About Molas

The traditional costume of a Kuna woman consists of a patterned blue cotton wrapped skirt, red and yellow headscarf, arm and leg beads, gold nose rings and earrings and the many layered and finely sewn mola panel blouse.

The artistry of a mola reflects a synthesis of traditional Kuna culture with the influences of the modern world. Mola art developed when Kuna women had access to store bought yard goods. Mola designs are often inspired by modern graphics such as political posters, labels, pictures from books and TV cartoons, as well as traditional themes from Kuna legends and culture.

Geometric molas are the most traditional, having developed from ancient body painting designs.

The quality of a mola is determined by such factors as
  • 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.
When Kuna women tire of a particular blouse, they disassemble it and sell the molas to collectors.

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 and not made solely to be sold to tourists.

Molas are 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. Matched molas complement each other and should be displayed or used together for the greatest impact.

Mola panels 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.

Molas are very sturdy and well sewn. They have already been washed many times and can be safely hand washed in warm water.

The mola blouse is an important symbol of Kuna culture.

The Kuna rebellion that led to the legal recognition of Kuna Yala as a semi-autonomous territory by the government of Panama was initiated when the government tried to prevent Kuna women from wearing their traditional mola costume.


33+ Yr Old Authentic Kuna Indian Mola  Panel Panama San Blas Islands Applique 1

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33+ Yr Old Authentic Kuna Indian Mola Panel Panama San Blas Islands Applique 1:
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