View Molas

Textile Designs of the Guna Indians of Panama, c. 1940-1980 

The Elisabeth Hans Collection

A Gift of Theodor Hans in Memory of his Wife Elisabeth Hans

The term Mola most often refers to the hand-stitched panels done by the Guna (sometimes spelled Cuna) women of Panama. It can also mean the simple yoke-type blouse that is daily wear of the women. Each panel is constructed of multiple layers of cloth of contrasting colors.  The layers are carefully snipped, peeled back to reveal the underlying colors and stitched together to create the pattern. It takes many hours of sewing to create even the simplest mola.

The molas in this web exhibition date from the 1940s to the 1980s.  Many of them, particularly from the earlier years, are rare.