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Mola Textiles made by the Kuna Indians of Panama

Frizztext/Flickr Comments asked this week, “ Hi Bloggers! Do you have to share a story or a short reflection tagged with the letter “M”?

I chuckled at the thought of presenting M for Mola!  Are you ready for more molas?!!!

The Kuna Indians of Panama inspired this past year’s Mola Series of Paintings.

When in Panama, I never tire of admiring the explosion of colors in the mola textiles.  Long ago the Indians painted designs on their bodies until modern man came along and demanded, “Oh no!  You must wear clothes!”    They surely felt robbed of their dignity.

They soon switched to painting the designs on the clothing.  They slowly abndoned the painting and designed more complex patterns by layering the colorful fabrics and cutting through to the desired color.   Their needlework fills the designs with stunning patterns.

Cats and Fish! – Though many designs are mass produced, each is unique!

Shhhhhh; don’t tell anyone that I gave you a discount!

Many mola designs are based on ancient patterns that have been passed down through the generations.  I realized that my old sketchbooks had a wealth of reference material patiently awaiting rebirth.

Sketch from a Nicaragua Museum Artifact

From Sketch to Watercolor!  This became quite addictive!

Museum Guardians – Based on two artifacts in the Jama, Ecuador museum.

How Fun Was This?!!!

But even more rewarding was teaching others the joy of the Mola Painting!

Group ” I Can Do This” project in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

Friendship “I Can Do This” – Maruja Sabando Project – Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

Because the lines are not precise or perfect, filling in the areas with color becomes a zen-like journey!

Another successful “I Can Do This” project in Panama.

Late Afternoon Break-

I hope that you enjoyed this trip through the world of molas!  Thanks, Frizztext, for the great challenge!

Z

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