Lot 153: Framed 1950s Panamanian Mola - Rooster in Tree
November 7, 2016
Louisville, CO, USA
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**Originally listed for 100.
Central America, Panama, San Blas Islands, Kuna/Cuna, ca. 1950 CE. A striking example of this folk art form created by the Kuna Native American women artisans, comprised of many layers of fabric in brilliant hues of roayl blue, navy blue, aqua blue, kelly green, grassy green, orange, pink, yellow, red, tan, purple, and black. The iconography depicts an endearing rooster perched in a tree suggestive of the Tree of Life, spreading its feathers with its head in profile, its face adorned with additional orange stitchery. Mounted in a black wood frame. Size: 22.5" L x 16.75" H (57.2 cm x 42.5 cm)
The folk craft of creating molas began about 125 years ago when the Kunas moved from the mainland to the islands. In their new environment, cooler nights necessitated warmer clothing. At first, women created blouses adorned with simple applique borders, but as time went on, they increased the scale of the decorative areas until the entire front and back panels were comprised of multi-layered, quilted textile designs. This distinctive art form has evolved into a tradition of exceptionally fine needlework and meaningful symbolism.
Provenance: Ex - private Colorado collection
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Condition Report: Intact and excellent.