Molas from the San Blas Islands

The San Blas Islands are an archipelago of 378 tiny islands, only 50 of which are populated by an indigenous tribe called Guna or Kuna. The islands are part of the Republic of Panama and located northwest of the isthmus. This first photo off the starboard side of the ship shows how small even the populated islands are and how far we have to travel in the ship’s life boats in order to visit. While it did not rain on us, as you can see, the day was cloudy.

The Guna are famous for making molas such as the one in this photo. An important part of their identity and economy, these colorful creations are made by a process of applique’ and reverse applique’ on multiple layers of cotton fabric. They are then added to clothing and worn everyday or to celebrate special occasions.

Tomorrow we cross the Panama Canal and dock in Panama City. In preparation for this I read The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough. I highly recommend that book for anyone interested in the most significant engineering feat of the twentieth century.

4 thoughts on “Molas from the San Blas Islands

  1. Carol S and I returned Saturday from our cruise. And thought of you passing us on your voyage south! Our weather was cool with some rain, but still we had fun excursions in Roatan and Belize City. I love hearing about your adventures and will be with you all along


  2. Carolyn
    Jock’s uncle was Secretary to the Governor during the time that the USA had a military governor in Panama. He was the highest ranking non military person in the Government. He name was J Patrick Conley now deceased. When Jock and I were there two years ago we saw his office. He testified in front of Congress against the USA giving the canal back to the Panama thought the would be conflicts. So he retired when that happened and brought his wife and 3 children back to the states. He was born and raised in Carlisle. Just a little side bar for you.


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