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Kuna

This indigenous group inhabits the Caribbean coast of Panama, along the many little islands of the San Blas archipelago as well as in scattered villages on the mainland. They are skilled sailors, fishermen and farmers. They have become widely known for the women’s intricate molas, the quilted and embroidered cloth panels sown onto the front and back of their traditional blouses still worn today. The motifs created in the molas feature complex geometric patterns, symbols and personages from their rich and vibrant cosmology and esoteric traditions as well as celebrated every-day objects and themes, such as propane tanks, fish hooks to even cereal box designs.

Molas: Layers of Meaning Molas: Layers of Meaning
Molas: Layers of Meaning

A funny thought struck me the other day as I watched a young girl walking down Central Avenue in San Jose; she was wearing a light top and shorts and her shoulders, mid-back and ankles were covered in tattoos giving the appearance of gaily coloured sleeves and socks. My thought was: how interesting that the […]

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