Traditional Kuna Yala Molas in San Blas, Panama.

The Mola is a traditional hand sewn fabric created by the women of the Kuna Yala.  The origins of the mola began as body painting but were eventually transfered onto fabric primarily through painting and later on through stitching.  Some of the oldest molas are dated between 150 and 170 years old.

Traditional molas are designed with geometric shapes and patterns.  More artistic and current molas depict birds, flowers and scenes of day to day life in Kuna society.  On a recent trip to San Blas I was able to view children as young as four years old practicing their mola stitching.  This is very important as the best molas have stitching that is practically invisible.

The price of a mola can range from $15-$100 dollars and take upwards of five months to complete.  Molas can be purchased throughout Panama but there is something special about purchasing one directly from the maker, out of her home in the islands of San Blas, Panama.

Click through the gallery below to view some molas and a few other arts and crafts created by the Kuna.