What are molas The Art Form – ATX Fine Arts | allsaxmusic

Molas are a unique form of textile art from the Kuna people of Panama and Colombia. This indigenous group is known for its brightly colored, intricately designed textiles, which are crafted with great care and attention to detail.

The mola itself is made through the process of reverse appliqué, where pieces of fabric are layered and cut to create a design. The Kuna people use molas as a form of cultural expression, often depicting scenes related to their lifestyle and spiritual beliefs.

Process of making molas

Molas are made using reverse appliqué, a technique where two pieces of fabric are sewn together with an opening in the middle. The top layer is then cut out to form a design, leaving the bottom fabric intact.

This process creates an intricate pattern that appears three-dimensional when viewed from the front. Making molas requires precision and patience, as a single piece can take hours or even days to complete.

The materials used

Molas are usually made from two layers of cotton, although the Kuna people also use silk, wool and recycled materials. The fabrics are usually brightly colored or printed with geometric patterns, but some molas may also feature animal or plant images.

After the two pieces of fabric are sewn together, the top layer is cut to form a design. The pieces can be sewn together by hand or glued with fabric glue.

The meaning of moles

Molas are often used by the Kuna people to depict scenes related to their lifestyle and beliefs. Common designs include animals, plants, boats, and geometric patterns.

Some molas may also contain symbols representing spiritual concepts such as creation, life and death. In addition to being a form of cultural expression, molas are also used as decoration in homes or clothing.

Buy or sell Molas

Molas can be purchased from local artisans and craft markets in Panama and Colombia. They can also be purchased online, although it’s important to make sure the seller is reputable and selling authentic items.

Selling molas can also be a lucrative business for skilled artisans, as they are often highly sought after by tourists and collectors.

Factors to consider when buying or selling molas

There are several factors to consider when buying or selling molas. Please note the following:


When buying molas, it’s important to look for pieces that are made from quality materials and crafted with attention to detail.


Molas can vary greatly in price depending on the quality of the fabric and the level of craftsmanship. Be sure to research prices beforehand and compare prices from different sellers before making a purchase.


It is also important to ensure that the molas you buy or sell are authentic and made by local artisans. Look for sellers who can provide proof of origin or authenticity.

Market demand

When selling molas, keep in mind the demand for certain items in different markets. This can help you determine which pieces are most likely to sell and how much they should be priced at.


In some countries it is necessary to obtain a permit to sell molas or other handicrafts. Be sure to check with local authorities for specific regulations and requirements.

Cultural respect

When buying or selling molas, make sure you do so with respect for the culture and traditions of the Kuna people.


Finally, consider the logistics of shipping molas when buying or selling them. This is especially important if you buy from or sell to customers abroad. Those are the main factors to consider when buying or selling molas.

With the right knowledge and preparation you ensure that your transactions are safe, smooth and successful. And of course, don’t forget to appreciate these beautiful works of art for their craftsmanship and cultural significance!

What are the advantages of buying or selling molas?

There are several advantages to buying and selling molas. Here are some of the main benefits:

Support local artisans

By buying and selling molas, you help support the livelihoods of local artisans and their families. This ensures that their craft and culture are preserved for future generations.

Connecting to history and culture

Buying or selling molas is a great way to connect with the history and culture of the Kuna people. It can also be an opportunity to learn about their artistic techniques and value systems.

Earn income

For those selling molas, it can be a very lucrative business. Many tourists and collectors are eager to purchase these unique works of art, so there is huge profit potential.

Giving gifts

Molas make wonderful gifts as they can be used to decorate homes or add an interesting and unique touch to clothes.


Molas can also be seen as an investment for serious collectors. Because they are unique works of art and often highly sought after, the value of a piece can increase over time.

Environmental management

Finally, buying and selling molas can also be seen as a way to promote environmental stewardship. This is because the substances used in their products come from natural sources and are produced sustainably.

These are just some of the benefits of buying or selling molas. Whether you are a collector, a tourist or just appreciate the beauty of these handmade pieces, there are many benefits to it. And with the right research and knowledge, you can ensure that your transactions are safe and successful.


In short, buying or selling molas can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Not only is it a great way to support local artisans, but it can also provide an opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of the Kuna people.

In addition, both buyers and sellers can benefit from the profit potential and investment that these unique works of art bring. With the right knowledge and preparation you ensure that your transactions are safe and successful. Ultimately, molas are more than just art.

They represent an important part of the culture and tradition of the Kuna people, so it is important to appreciate and respect them. Doing so ensures that their craft and heritage is preserved for future generations.

By Liam