Mola by Maricel E. Presilla
Cuna Life Stories and Art

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My little girls,
You will grow up and marry
a grown boy.
You will grow up....
I will look for molas,
Molas for the little girls.
--Cuna Lullaby

The remarkable Cuna Indians live on the San Blas Islands off the northern coast of Panama. Cuna women hold much of the power enjoyed by men in other societies. They select their husbands, pass property on to their children, and make a unique form of art called molas that depict every detail of their lives.

The spectacular fabric designs in vibrant tropical colors that appear on the front and back panels of molas give us a window into Cuna life. We may see a day in school, mythical birds, the story of Noah, jungle animals, or a girl's coming-of-age.

Author Maricel Presilla learned how to read molas when she stayed with the Cuna. Mola is her tribute to the women she came to know and the amazing art they create.

An American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists"
One of Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year

About Maricel E. Presilla

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Maricel E. Presilla journeyed to the San Blas Islands as part of her ongoing study of the foods and cultures of Latin America. After receiving her doctorate in medieval Spanish history, she wrote two books for young readers: Feliz Nochebuena, Feliz Navidad: Christmas Feasts of the Hispanic Caribbean, and with Gloria Soto, Life Around the Lake. A native of Cuba, she lives with her husband in Weehawken, New Jersey.
Published October 15, 1996 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 32 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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In the San Blas Islands off the northern coast of Panama, Cuna women make a unique and beautiful form of art called molas, in which layers of fabric of various textures are sewn together, then snipped and stitched into pictures comprised of bold forms and bright colors.

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Publishers Weekly

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S&S, $16 ISBN 0-689-80126-2 As a young Harlem Renaissance artist, Lawrence's first success was a series of 41 narrative paintings chronicling the life of Haitian activist Toussaint L'Ouverture, who in 1791 led a rebellion against the French planters.

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