Exhibition Molas, Kuna Art :
Michel Perrin, a former physicist, now ethnologist and anthropologist, following a meeting
Claude Levi-Strauss is the curator of this exhibition.
His work on mythology, symbolism, traditional medicine, dreams, and art
allowed him to share the lives of three American Indian populations. The Kuna tribe, the San Blas Islands of Panama, is one of them.
The Kuna Indians of Panama live on coral islands, the Atlantic side. They are nearly fifty thousand, fishing and horticulture.
Mola is the name they give to real "tables" of fabric on which the women are building their blouse.
The outstanding aesthetic quality and variety of these achievements
Kuna women have earned a reputation for exceptional artists. On molas, Claude Levi-Strauss wrote:
"This art is a prodigious fertility . We are amazed by the diversity
patterns and styles, the virtuosity with which the seamstresses deal . ".
The art of mola appears at the end of the nineteenth century.
This is an "art of reaction," resulting from contact with whites.
Until their arrival, the women were topless and painted their bodies.
Later, from a Western-style clothing that was imposed upon them or that they wanted to imitate,
they expressed a difference by creating molas, made only
with borrowed goods: industrial cotton and son, needles and scissors of steel.
This exhibition, which has been awarded the Bicentennial celebrations of independence in Latin America,
accompanied by two projections / conferences to better understand this art but also the culture from which it came.