What is a Mola?

In this episode, we learn about Molas. The full costume includes a patterned wrapped skirt, a red and yellow headscarf, arm and leg beads, a gold nose ring and earrings in addition to the mola blouse. Typical Mola’s consist of patterned cotton pieces of clothing. A Mola can be a skirt, scarf or t-shirt. The quality of a Mola is a detriment to the number of layers of cotton that is used and the fineness of the stitching. A mola can take from two weeks to six months to make, depending on the complexity of the design.

The economy of Guna Yala is based on agriculture, fishing and the manufacture of clothing with a long tradition of international trade. Dulegaya, an aboriginal Chibchan is spoken. Guna Yala, formerly known as San Blas, is an indigenous province in northeast Panama. Guna Yala is home to the indigenous people known as the Gunas. Their tradition of trade has been able to successfully function independently compared to other indigenous groups.