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The Mola: Traditional Kuna Textile Art

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The Mola: Traditional Kuna Textile Art

Edith Crouch

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The mola is a multilayered textile art form and metaphor for the story of the Kuna, indigenous people of Panama. With over 890 images covering more than a century of molas, this book provides insights into design sources and influences for molas, perspectives on the aesthetic practices of women creating them, and hints for collecting and preserving this colorful textile art form. The hand-appliquéd art panels tell the tale of the Kuna women and are symbolic of their artistry, observation, and beliefs. Their lush tropical paradise, cultural cosmology, sense of humor, and exposure to foreign elements are represented in these fascinating fabric designs. A brief history of Panama and its rich tradition of indigenous arts place the mola in context.

Size: 9″ x 12″ | 886 color & 7 b/w photos | Index | 256 pp
ISBN13: 9780764338458 | Binding: hard cover


Edith Read (Barkowitz) Crouch, author, glass artist, and teacher, lives and works in Charlotte, North Carolina. From earliest childhood through high school she was raised in the Panama Canal Zone, giving her a personal engagement with the topic.