Paper Molas

The Kuna Indians of Panama make beautiful designs in fabric by layering and cutting away the cloth to reveal the colors underneath. These fabric designs, called "molas," were traditionally sewn into blouses, but have now gained worldwide recognition as a unique art form.

Photo Courtesy of Galen Frysinger

In addition to showing the students photographs of molas, we were lucky to find a parent who had traveled to Panama. She graciously shared her collection of molas with us!

Mola in Glass Tray

Mola Vest

Mola Shirt

Middle school students created colorful molas by cutting away layers of construction paper. They first assembled a stack of paper, gluing it together on the very top edge of each sheet. They worked out a design on a piece of white paper, and colored it in with markers that matched the colors in their packet of papers. They taped this sheet to the top of their packet, and carefully cut away layers to reveal each color for their design. If red, for example, was the color that they wanted to reveal, they inserted a piece of matboard in their packet on TOP of that color to avoid cutting through it!

Here are a few of their creations:


Please click on the covers to order or learn more!


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