This collection of images is the result of two Museum-funded expeditions to the Kuna Yala archipelago off the coast of Panama
to document the Kuna peoples and the full range of Kuna expressive culture, with a particular focus on molas as a distinctive genre of art. Although molas are among the most commonly collected textile arts in the United States, few arts enthusiasts are well informed about the
peoples who create them. For The Art of Being Kuna: Layers of Meaning among the Kuna of Panama project, curatorial staff worked closely with Kuna consultants to develop a systematic presentation of Kuna expressive culture
and identity, the role of women in Kuna life, and their values and response to change brought on by external contacts during
the past eighty years. The Kuna field collection features 1,500 stills and fifteen hours of video footage of the making of
molas, Congreso meetings, ambient environment, and activities within the home. As life changes rapidly in Kuna Yala, these images
are invaluable records of Kuna secular and sacred occasions of the 1990s.
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for publication is given on behalf of the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History as the owner of the physical items and is
not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.