Kuna Textiles, also commonly known as Molas, are hand sewn using a century old reverse appliqué technique of sewing cut out layers of fabric in different colors to form an intricate & original artwork.
Each mola design has meaning, depicting stories, animals, flowers, or daily scenes. Others are abstract or geometric representations with a strong spiritual and cultural significance.
Sabah x Mola Sasa features two color ways of an original textile pattern designed exclusively for Sabah in collaboration with Mola Sasa. We took inspiration from Mola Sasa’s archive of vintage molas (or Kuna textiles), specifically a geometric textile with a repetitive motif called “Nakrus Oguad Aled” in Guna Dule language. Every geometric textile has a meaning, and in this instance the linked colors in the repetition represent a protection textile. It takes nearly two days to hand finish the textile for one pair of Babas, which are then crafted at the Sabah Workshop in El Paso, Texas — a truly global collaboration!
Molas are still worn by the women of the community on their blouses as symbols of protection and representation.
Meet the Makers
A few of the women of the Guna Dule indigenous community of Caiman Alto, Colombia, the artisans behind the Sabah x Mola Sasa Babas.
Sabah Friends from Colombia
Meet 4 inspiring Colombians whose work celebrates their heritage and roots. Learn more about their projects below.
Stephanie Bonnin, a Colombian born and raised chef, started La TropiKitchen with the goal of creating a nostalgic experience for migrants and a unique gastronomic expression for the culturally curious. She and her team create experiences through pop-ups, catering, private dinners, and more. Since founding La TropiKitchen, Stephanie has become a self-taught food ethnographer studying the effects of migration on the culinary traditions of her home country.
Adrian Patiño is a Brooklyn-based graphic artist, event curator and DJ. Adrian has been rediscovering his cultural identity through music research and curation, bringing his sounds — a mix of afro-rooted music from Colombia, New York, Venezuela, Africa & more — into NYC nightlife.
Carolina Oliveros is a New York-based singer/songwriter born in Barranquilla, Colombia. Her music explores the rhythms of the bailes cantados of the region including bullerengue, tambora, gaita, and millo. She is working on several new musical and dance projects that showcase her indigenous and Afro-descendant musical roots.
Beatriz López is a curator and gallery owner based in New York. In recent years as artistic director of Instituto de Visión, she has concentrated on narratives concerning the relationship between art, body, nature and the revision of women in the official history of art in the 20th century Latinoamerica.
Save The Date: Mola Sasa Residency at Sabah House New York
From July 7-14, Mola Sasa takes up residence at Sabah House New York. Shop their latest garment and accessory collections, as well as a curated market of one-of-a-kind goods from different artisans in Colombia that range from home wares to handbags. Here's a preview of what you'll find:
“Colombia is color and music; it vibrates with its cultural mix and rich ethnic variety. This has certainly been a great influence for Mola Sasa... We mix various techniques that speak of a country full of color and diversity; in that way, we are able to share a piece of us with the world.“