Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pillows from the Islands

Inspired by the sea and colors of the ocean. These amazing pillows are hand stitched by the Kuna Indian women  of the Panama Islands using the art of sewing molas. This pillow collection was hand stitched by Kuna women with the traditional technique of molas. 

Molas are part of the traditional dress of Kuna Indians of Panama and are worn by the women on the back and on the front side of their blouse. Together with the blue print cotton skirts, the red and orange head scarves and the characteristic glass bead strings on wrists and ankles they represent the traditional dress of the Kuna women.
Becoming famous in the last couple of decades, Molas are now shown in museums and private collections of textile art all around the world. High collectors value have those molas, whose completion take more than hundred hours. As an inspiration for their designs the Kuna first used the geometrical patterns which have been used for body painting before. In the past 50 years they also started to depict realistic and abstract designs of flowers, sea animals and birds.
With approximately 60.000 members the Kuna* represent the largest indigenous group in Panama. The worldwide second smallest people after the pygmies populate the 360 islands in the San Blas archipelago and the narrow strip on the Caribbean coast of Panama and Colombia since the 18th century.

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