A very old and dear friend of mine took a trip with her parants throught the Panama canal on a cruise this year and I was the lucky recipient of a Mola pouch.
Mola means “shirt” or “clothing” in the Dulegaya language of the Kuna people who are the indigenous natives of Panama and Columbia.
Molas are traditionally worn by woman as part of their cultural clothing. The colors seem to be bright on dar or black backgrounds. The process of making molas seems to be a mix of layered appliqué and embroidery techniques. Every color is a layer. This tutorial shows a very basic setup, but is enough to get the idea.
Below is a panel my friends mom brought home. I can’t wait to see what she turns it into.