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Mola

Artist/Maker: Amaris Velásquez (Guna, dates unknown)

Date: ca. 2013
Medium: dyed cotton and thread
Dimensions:
Overall: 11 5/8 × 16 1/4 in. (29.5 × 41.3 cm)
Classification: Clothing, Accessories and Jewelry
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Terms
Object number: 2013.4.12
DescriptionClean, smooth edges and nearly invisible stitches are what distinguish this mola. A white layer of cloth is covered by burgundy fabric with black insets and accented with yellow and white embroidery. The fabric colors contain meaning themselves, as black and red are symbols of war, juxtaposed with yellow and white which represent hope and life. Guna lore places emphasis on duality, wherein everything in nature comes in pairs although none are exactly the same. Here, three rows mimic what appear to be paper people chains, each with three pairs of women standing hand-in-hand. Lozenge-shaped patterns fill the negative space with oval and triangle cutouts. All the figures are mostly the same with triangular skirt shapes, some with X’s for eyes, others with dots and crosses on their mouths. The design in between each figure suggests a flower as a nod to solidarity among matrilocal Guna women, where newly married couples live with the bride’s family. This mola was created by a member of the Guna Women’s Mola Collective, a group of 300 women throughout the islands who join together to create and sell molas in order to support their families in times of economic strife when fishing is poor.
On view