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Cuna Arts & Crafts

Beautiful hand sewn molas and unique fashion accessories

designed and made by the Cuna Indians of Panama

   
   

Molas, Hand Bags, Shoulder Bags, Tote Bags, Pillow Covers,

Pouches, Purses, Decorative Pot Holders and Oven Mitts

 

 

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Hello and thanks for visiting.  If you're in a hurry to shop, please go straight to the web store for our  extensive selection of handcrafted products made by the Cuna Indians of Panama. If you have more time, please browse a while to learn more about these fascinating people.

 

Cuna Indians are probably best known for their hand-sewn Molas, which are created by Cuna women as the showpiece of their native dress.

 

Each individual crafts her molas from several layers of brightly colored cloth, cutting layers out to reveal those below, and tightly stitching each cut edge to form intricate patterns and pictures. The process can take days or even weeks. Learning these skills is crucial in this remarkable matrilineal society, where descent, inheritance, and status are passed through the maternal side of each tightly-knit family group.

 

The highly personal designs allow each Cuna woman to express herself and demonstrate her artistry.  Many molas depict scenes from nature; jungle animals, sea creatures, and imaginary beasts are very popular. Some are highly abstract or geometric, while others portray daily activities such as fishing or hunting.  

 

And just like the talented artist who made it, every mola is unique.

 

 Molas make beautiful wall hangings and can be placed in groups to form a spectacular display. They are a very versatile art form too! We stock a growing variety of CunaCrafted tote and shoulder bags, purses, throw pillow covers, pot holders, and stove mitts —  all which have beautiful mola panels sewn to them. Custom-designed pieces, as interpreted by the artist, may also be commissioned.

 

Most Cuna Indians live on a narrow strip of land and the San Blas Archipelago, a group of 365 small islands on the northeastern Atlantic coast of the Republic of Panama. Their territory, called Comarca Kuna Yala, is shown on this map.

 

Cuna Arts & Crafts accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.  Orders are shipped from Houston, Texas by UPS or FedEx.

We invite visitors to the San Blas Islands and Panama to share their stories and photos. With your permission, we’ll be happy to post them on our website. 

     
 
Copyright ©2006-2008 Cuna Arts & Crafts LLC   All rights reserved
Last Revised: 01/10/13.