Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Holy Molas!

Yesterday, I was in Toronto for an appointment, and had a few spare hours. So to fill the time, I went to the Textile Museum of Canada to see about 200 Kuna Yala molas from Central America. WOW. What spectacular needlework / applique work made by the women. I'll upload a couple of photos for you to check out.

Click on photo to enlarge it for a closer look. Check out the detail. Each mola is about 15x10", and they are made in pairs for the front and back of a blouse. The Kuna Yala women wear these all the time, as if to say that the modern world may influence them, but they won't give up their traditions. Yaaay for them. This one's my favourite.

They are not all complex like this, but I greatly admire these for intricate work. Inspiration comes from all around the women, from legends, stories, and ancient beliefs, along with modern images and ideas that come to them from visitors. Medicinal plants are most traditional, but images now include movie themes, helicoptors, and famous people!

These are made using scissors to draw the applique lines, and then reverse appliqued, which is how they get the narrow line effect. Sometimes, regular applique is applied, too. Makers unknown. These items are owned by the TMC, and their use is protected by copyright. Permission is granted to use them here.

Anyway, I'm hugely inspired. So I'll get back to my own applique project.

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