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Explore colorful fiber arts of the Kuna Indians. Work with classmates to create a vibrant Mola Mural to showcase contemporary and traditional motifs.
Get to know about Kuna fiber arts traditions. Find out about the Kuna Indians who live on the San Blas Islands near Panama. In this culture, the women usually create beautiful stitched artwork called molas. Molas are made by layering cloth and then cutting through the layers to reveal the colors beneath. Each shape is carefully stitched. The shapes often resemble indigenous animals or plants and are usually surrounded with ovals, dots, geometric shapes, or repeated images.
Choose a theme. Find pictures of authentic mola patterns. With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, sketch your own pattern using themes such as fish, or your own favorite, such as a pet cat. Create a bold, eye-catching design!
Cut fabric sections. Select a light-colored cotton or 50/50 cotton/polyester blend cloth. Use Crayola Scissors to cut it into squares or rectangles.
Design your mola. Outline your mola’s main character in the center of the cloth with Crayola Fabric Markers. Make more outlines, each within the other, following the contours of the character. Add other bright colors between outlines.
Fill the space around your main character with simple geometric shapes. Halo some of them with colorful outlines, too. Fill your entire rectangle with brilliant colors. Your mola is for display only, so there’s no need to heat-set the colors.
Assemble the mural. Carefully trim your rectangle. Use Crayola School Glue to attach it to posterboard to display with your classmates’ molas. Hang your striking mural where others can appreciate what you are learning.
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