Dressing Up Culture

May 17, 2008, through December 07, 2008
Molas from Kuna Yala



Temporary Exhibitions, Gutman Gallery


Colorful, playful, and visually enticing, the appliquéd molas that Kuna women sew onto their blouses yield an astounding array of traditional and contemporary themes. These stitched cloth panels feature abstract and figurative motifs derived from Kuna legends and culture, political posters, labels, books, the natural world, mass media and popular culture, cartoons, and everyday life. Having initially developed from pre-Hispanic body arts, mola making in Kuna Yala, an archipelago that runs along the Caribbean coast of Panama, has become an important women’s economic enterprise that also preserves Kuna cultural and ethnic identity.

Organized by the Hood Museum of Art and generously funded by the William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Hall Fund.

Exhibition Curator

Barbara Thompson

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Exhibition subject: Mexico, Central, & South America