Travel Inspiration: The Kuna of Panama and Colombia, Pt 1

February 1, 2011

In some hidden pockets of Colombia, and almost everywhere in Panama, you'll find the proud, talented and often camera-shy Kuna women.

She's rather imperious looking, I might say. A bit coy, as well. 

Sleek and catlike in her trim sarong, striking mola blouse, and sunny, slim beaded anklets.

I can't decide what is more compelling about the Kuna women:

Their bold, artistic color choices in embroidery, beadwork and clothing...

Or their sassy, modern hair styles, worn short from puberty on.

A mola is an embroidered panel using applique & reverse applique. Notice the mola panel on her blouse. 

Of course, tourists can find panels for sale on nearly every street corner in the cities or in the San Blas Islands.

The color combinations make  Everything is so outrageous, but it somehow works, doesn't it?

Photos found @ flickr. In order of appearance: cormorem, jackjenkins, martibrown1 (x2), luigih, ojovisor


  1. A beautiful insight into their culture - I'm tempted to look up and learn so much more now! love the patterns and colors!

  2. Thanks, Jessica! I'm so consumed by them right now. There's an interesting Colombian designer who is creating mola-inspired swimwear: If you have time (or interest) check out this blog entry on the Kuna culture. It's a bit dated, but really interesting on the Kuna: xoxojess


Thanks for leaving a comment! I´ll repay the visit in kind! xoxojess