Mola: Cuna Life Stories and Art

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Macmillan, Oct 15, 1996 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 32 pages
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My little girls,
You will grow up and marry
a grown boy.
You will grow up....
I will look for molas,
Molas for the little girls.
--Cuna Lullaby

The remarkable Cuna Indians live on the San Blas Islands off the northern coast of Panama. Cuna women hold much of the power enjoyed by men in other societies. They select their husbands, pass property on to their children, and make a unique form of art called molas that depict every detail of their lives.

The spectacular fabric designs in vibrant tropical colors that appear on the front and back panels of molas give us a window into Cuna life. We may see a day in school, mythical birds, the story of Noah, jungle animals, or a girl's coming-of-age.

Author Maricel Presilla learned how to read molas when she stayed with the Cuna. Mola is her tribute to the women she came to know and the amazing art they create.

An American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists"
One of Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - flemmily - LibraryThing

Mola: Cuna Life Stories and Art explains the history, values, and everyday lives of the Cuna people. Originally from Panama, they now live on islands just off the coast. Their traditions are ... Read full review

MOLA: Cuna Life Stories and Art

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

In the San Blas Islands off the northern coast of Panama, Cuna women make a unique and beautiful form of art called molas, in which layers of fabric of various textures are sewn together, then snipped ... Read full review

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References to this book

About the author (1996)

Maricel E. Presilla journeyed to the San Blas Islands as part of her ongoing study of the foods and cultures of Latin America. After receiving her doctorate in medieval Spanish history, she wrote two books for young readers: Feliz Nochebuena, Feliz Navidad: Christmas Feasts of the Hispanic Caribbean, and with Gloria Soto, Life Around the Lake. A native of Cuba, she lives with her husband in Weehawken, New Jersey.