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Fashioning Identity: Mola Textiles of Panama

November 22, 2020 - October 3, 2021

The mola is a key component of traditional dress among the indigenous Guna (formerly Kuna) women of Panamá. Guna women have been sewing mola blouses since the turn of the 20th century, and they have become powerful symbols of their culture and identity. These masterfully hand-sewn cotton panels feature a wide array of vibrantly colored compositions, with designs ranging from geometric abstraction to imaginative scenes inspired by popular Western culture. This exhibition presents both individual mola panels and complete mola blouses spanning distinct periods of Guna history, from the era of the 1925 revolution to the 1980s. Learn more here.

Image: Crab Mola Panel, mid-1900s. Sasardi Muladub community. Cotton; reverse appliqué, appliqué, embroidery; 44.5 x 48.3 cm. [23] Denison University, Denison Museum, Gift of Dr. Clyde Keeler, 1972.341


Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland,OHUnited States