Stunning and very unique Mola from Panama made by a skilled aboriginal woman living in the San Blas Islands.
Molas are made by layering layers of cloth (typically cotton) over one another, and then cutting into the top layer to reveal the fabric underneath. Traditionally a woman's blouse contains two almost matching (similar, but different) molas - one in the front and one on the back. Molas are removed from a blouse for sale (typically) - authentic molas show signs of wear and usually remnant stiches on the edges where it connected to the blouse.
About this mola...... This is a lovely two layer mola with minute almost invisible hand stiches 15.5" x 12". It contains a combination of reverse applique, embroidery and additional added details.
It is in excellent condition with no stains or tears, and shows evidence of having been part of a blouse (remnant stiches on edges).
About molas and the people who make them: (courtesy Wikipedia)
The mola, or molas, is a handmade stuff that forms part of the traditional women's clothing of the Guna people. The full costume includes a patterned wrapped skirt (saburet), a red and yellow headscarf (musue), arm and leg beads (wini), a gold nose ring (olasu) and earrings in addition to the mola blouse (dulemor).
In Dulegaya, the Guna's native language, "mola" means "shirt" or "clothing". The mola originated with the tradition of Guna women painting their bodies with geometric designs, using available natural colors; in later years these same designs were woven in cotton, and later still, sewn using cloth bought from the European settlers of Panamá.