Mola Textile Art
"The beauty of this art speaks for itself"
I don't think that another artist statement will make a difference, just go to my gallery and don't forget to take a look my feedback to see what customers are saying...they are excited, they are thrilled, they can't say no to these Molas :-)
Certainly we don't have to be an Artist to love or appreciate Art, Art has inspired my life, is my every day light, through these Textile Arts I see the beauty, colors and value of my culture.
I have embraced every opportunity that I had, to show you the beauty of my country "Panama" with the art that bring such a pleasure to others and myself.
I am a native of Panama and I always being around Molas and other crafts.
My first sewing experience was garments, and later on I began quilting, I also love photograghing the different places I been including Costa Rica, but close relation with art has always been a passion of mine. I spent part of my life collecting art from Panama.
My background has been influenced by my culture and by traveling back to my country "Panama". Perhaps, traveling to other countries in Central America and developing appreciation for culture, people and art.
My husband was station in Panama but also serve duties in El Salvador and kept souvenirs from each country visited.
I always had a desire to communicate with the world through art, to show you the beauty and the colourful textiles that addorn my country - make my culture rich and vibrant.
Creativity and learning has always been part of my life.
I truly love and appreciate the Kunas intricate indigenous art "The Molas".
I want this art to allow the viewer to experience a cultural awakening. That when the viewers look for the first time at the molas, the kuna art will immediately captivate people's eyes & heart.
Every mola is one of a kind piece, the unique and special handmade gifts for your love ones. They are perfect for any occasion: Christmas gift, Birthday, Wedding, Group Party, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, etc.
Rita has an incredible passion for handmade art, She love quilting with molas, decorating my home and creating different craft/sewing projects.
Rita has featured the Kuna Mola Art in galleries, artshows, Schools, Universities, PGA Tournament (Bell South-Golf), Books, Magazine, Cruises Brochures, museum, in retail shops, she has share with others the love of mola art within and outside of the sate of Ohio.
She had many good customers that traveled from other states and has set up appointment to see and buy molas from our collection, we can always meet customers in the local shop here in West Carrollton.
A little bit about the Kunas:
The residents of the Archipielago of Kuna Yala, San Blas (Kuna Indians) are the most truly Native American (in the sense that they have retained their original lands), their traditions and their culture. The Kunas look similar from Island to Island, however each village is unique.
The Cuna or Kuna indios, the term "Kuna" is commonly use, have been settled in the San Blas Archipielago off the northeast coast of Panama since the nineteenth century. The Archipielago, known as Kuna Yala in their Native Language, composed by 365 islands, approximately 50 are inhabited, there population is estimated at 61,707 members.
They are ruled by a political, social and religious structures which are one of the most orderly and functional in the world.
The Cuna term was introduced by the Spanish, we normally refer to the Kunas as the "indios or indians of San Blas" but they preferred to be called "Aboriginals", sometimes you will hear the term "Tule or Tulemaya" meaning "people". Their Native language "Dulegaya" meaning "people language" belongs to the Chibchans linguistic family, some of which still spoken by native communities in Central America. These languages are different from Mayan, spoken in Mexico, Guatemala and South America.
All these culture and indigenous groups are the ones that we study during my first years of school in Panama.
The Kuna language has not changed during the last five hundred years. This is a language that is only spoken, it has small differences from one island to another.
Also, differences appear in the writting of Kuna words: for example, Kantule or Gandule. The Academy of the kuna language, approved by the Congreso General de la Cultura, has worked since the 1970's with foreign linguistics to establish a Gramatica Kuna which will define a common spelling to be used by all.
The Kunas are well known for their magnificient art "Mola" which I describe in other pages within my website.
The Mola art is appreciated solely for their creativity, aesthetic and beauty.
Molas are like the Kuna history books, they keep happiness, sadness, traditions, they tell us everything that happen through their life.
The Kunas combine verbal, visual and performance arts that give us the insight of what they value, they think and how they feel.
Verbal Art is predominantly associated with men, and visual art is associated with women.
The Verbal Arts of the men includes singing, chanting, and political oratory. The visual arts of the Kuna womens is to elaborate "mola" for their blouses, these blouses are an art form and part of their unique dress style and tradition.
The performance Arts is Music, Dance and Chanting which always accompany every Kuna Ceremony in their life, Women's and men participate in the dances, all these combine verbal and visual elements, example: the girl's puberty ceremony. Some Islands may have Dance Festivals which offer the opportunity to demostrate musical abilities.
The Kuna life is simply, quietly and very close to Mother Nature. Tasks are well defined. The men take care of coconut plantations, cultivate their gardens on the mainland, go fishing, repair their houses and sometimes weave baskets. They are closely involve in village politics.
The Women stay home cook, keep house, and if necessary, go to the river to wash clothes and bring back fresh water. And they spend hours sewing molas. Women's also prepare drinks from cocoa, corn or coffee.
Men carved kitchen utensils of wood, or braid them out of the plant fiber. The traditional braided fan "the bibi" and sometimes they can be found on mola designs.
Studies recently made in Panama indicates that the Kunas are facing many problems, among these problems are: a higher level of poverty in the San Blas Islands and the highest rate of birth, these results places the Kunas communities in a great disadvantage, meanining that their children's will live in poverty homes without no opportunities.
Many of these children's later on, will leave the Islands to go to earn dollars in Panama city or looking for a job, then they will face another reality: unemployment, higher cost of living, and many other society problems. The city has a different life style, which is not the best for them.
When you buy molas directly from us, you are opening a door of opportunities for these children's.
This is exactly why the most important source of income for the Kuna's is the sale of Molas. Kuna Molas are both strong part of the Kuna traditions, but also a good part of the family budget.
and finally, what could be the future of the kunas???
We don't know...
Is only the Kuna people, who can choose their own way, preserved their traditions, art and their magnificient culture, meanwhile they become part of the world that surrounds them.
If you are interested in learning more about the Kunas and the molas, I will recommend to buy our book: Molas and Kuna Traditions that is listed here in our site.
Live Art, Give Art and invite one of these pieces into your home today!!
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