Guna Culture

Nearly all scenes of Guna daily life have appeared as mola panels and now provide historic information about Guna life and culture.

Elderly Guna woman with two fire fans [1997.1.86]

This mola show an elderly Guna woman with two fire fans.


A Guna Woman Making a Mola [1997.1.223]

One of the more commonplace scenes in any San Blas village is that of a Guna mother sewing a mola as she swings her infant child to sleep in a hammock. Dressed in all her finery, including colorfully beaded arm and leg bands, golden nose ring, necklace, and earrings, she is depicted here surrounded by other members of her family inside their bamboo hut.

Blouse with Scorpions [1997.1.2a]

This blouse is done against a foreground of black. It shows two scorpions. It is very natural for the Gunas to depict various insects. Additionally, there is hand stitching on the band of the sleeve. This is a nice example of a mola blouse in its entirety.

Guna Indians Gather Fruit from Tree [1997.1.98]

This image could have been taken from an illustration or is a scene of Guna's life. The size and technique of this work indicate that this is probably an older mola. Although this type of scene is often represented in molas, this particular work is unusual and uniquely done. This mola may even be the original from which others were copied.

Guna Woman Stirring Cauldrons and Fanning Fires [1997.1.100]

Chicha, a potent drink made from sugarcane juice mixed with herbs and corn, is consumed in great quantities at all important festivals. The pipe-smoking women stir the brew in huge cauldrons as their men fan the log fires. Note the ornate ceremonial costumes on the women.