The Estola Mola pillow, in striking red handwoven fabric, depicts Mayan symbols of colorful birds and animals. A Panamanian Mola of a toucan makes this a collectible one-of-a-kind pillow which would add a bright spot of color to any room in your home.
19” x 19” (48.2 cm x 48.2 cm)
Front - cotton
Back – linen, in turquoise
Down feather pillow insert
Fabric origins: Guatemala, Panama
This bright red pillow combines a Mola from Panama, depicting a toucan on a branch surrounded by leaves, and a handwoven “estola” or stole with stylized brocaded Mayan motifs from El Quiche, Chajul, Guatemala.
Molas are an interesting textile art form originating from body painting. Today, Molas form part of the traditional women’s clothing worn by the Kuna people in Panama. Traditionally, Molas are handmade using a reverse applique technique. Usually two to seven layers of different colored fabrics are sewn together. The designs are formed by cutting away parts of each layer then turned under and sewn in place with tiny stitches. Some designs are realistic using flowers, sea animals and birds for inspiration with other designs more abstract. The one I used has a burgundy top layer with lots of color popping through the layers. This Mola has appliqued fabric for many of the details.
The red Guatemalan stole works well with the Mola and features colorful brocaded Mayan symbols woven in bright colors. At the top and bottom of the Mola, is another Guatemalan fabric featuring colorful birds and random stripes woven using a supplemental weft technique. I believe this fabric is from Santa Apolonia.