Friday, October 09, 2009

Tule or Kuna Indians and the Mola

The Tule (meaning the people) or Kuna (name commonly given the group) Indians live in the Urabá region of Antioquia and the islands of San Blas in Panamá.

They are a matriarchal society. When a couple marries, the groom goes to live with his in-laws and he works for them.

Like most indigenous peoples, their society revolves around hunting, fishing, and agriculture.

The language, Dulegaya, is still spoken and taught in the communities.


Here is a clip from a documentary about the Tule-Kuna of Colombia:




One of the most beautiful handicrafts of Colombia are the MOLAS made by the Kuna women. Here is a picture of one:


Molas are bright colorful works made by using a reverse appliqué process. In the process several layers of brightly colored cloth are loosely sewn together. Then, the top layers are cut and folded back and then hand sewn to the layers below.

Molas (which means 'blouse' in the Tula language) are still worn by the women of the village with a blue skirt and leg beads, however, men have adopted western style clothing.

Molas are available in main Colombian artesan shops and would make a lovely souvenir.

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