Creation of a Mola-Part Two

Laura on January 15th, 2008

Prior to the creation of molas to adorn blouses worn by the Kuna women of the San Blas Islands body paints were used to create designs directly on the skin. Paints were made using local plants which produced yellow, red and black colors. Today body paint has all but vanished save for a thin bluish/black line many Kuna women wear painted from the middle of their foreheads down to the tip of the nose. In all mola design you will notice that these colors have a place of importance among the many colors used.

Originally, mola designs were largely geometric and abstract in nature. Eventually, they began to represent spiritual belief, the role of women within Kuna society, ceremonies, daily life as well as flora and fauna. As the Kuna people began to have contact with tourists visiting their islands and with media in the form of stories and print materials brought to the islands from inland the molas of the Kuna women began to reflect modern times.

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