Cuna Mola Designs

Appropriate for grades: K - 12
Subject areas: History and Social Studies Visual and Performing Arts

A mola is an appliqued fabric panel created by Cuna women, an indigenous people from the San Blas Islands of Panama. The term "mola" refers to a traditional blouse made by women to serve as front and back panels of the blouses they wear everyday. Now molas are also sold to collectors and framed and exhibited. The market for the unique molas has provided an economic benefit for the Cuna Indians.

Lesson Objectives

  1. Students will learn about how molas are part of Cuna women's dress and culture in Panama. (Responding: Understanding and evaluating how the arts convey meaning.)
  2. Students will create a mola using paper construction techniques. (Creating: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work.)
  3. Students will use their own design elements to create a mola. (Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context.
  4. Students will prepare their work for display. (Presenting: Interpreting and sharing artistic work.)

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