Indiana University Indiana University IU

Culture Gunadule
Title Mola (Mola)
Date 20th century
Medium Cotton
Dimensions Object: 14 × 18 in. (35.6 × 45.7 cm)
Overall: 14 × 18 in. (35.6 × 45.7 cm)
Credit Line Estate of Doris Steinmetz Kellett, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 2013.266

Share this artwork!

About this Work

The geometries in molas were originally a practice of body decoration that evolved into a textile tradition due to colonization. Gunadule women, who are experts in the tradition of molas, create these designs using techniques found in sacred places called galus, which exist in different layers of the universe. Mola designs are divided into two main styles, naga and goaniggadi. This cloth reflects the naga style that has abstract designs that represent elements of nature and use geometric shapes.

2013, Gift to the Indiana University Art Museum from the Estate of Doris Steinmetz Kellett

Unidentified date, Doris Steinmetz Kellett acquires [1]

Unidentified dates, unidentified owner(s), possibly in Panama and/or other places [2]

[1] Doris Steinmetz Kellett did not provide the museum with any further provenance documentation.

[2] We do not yet know how many changes in ownership transpired between when this artwork was initially made and owned to when Doris Steinmetz Kellett acquired it. This absence of documentation on ownership history within places where mola textiles like this one were made and used is part of a larger history of collecting practices that did not record prior ownership among communities of origin.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

August 26, 2023–February 18, 2024, “Textile Heritage in Central and South America,” Focus Gallery Exhibition, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Viewing Information
This artwork is currently off display. You may be able to see this artwork by filling out an art viewing room request.


Request this Image
The Eskenazi Museum of Art provides images of its collection, free of charge, upon request. This artwork is under copyright protection. You can request the image and it will be emailed to you when the request is complete.

Cite this Page
"Mola | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.