“Contents,” Tambuli, Jan. 1984, inside front cover


    January 1984

    Volume 8, Number 1

    On the cover: Molas are a traditional form of needlework practiced by the Cuna Indians of the San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama. Molas are made by placing several rectangular pieces of fabric in layers so that the top color, usually red, shows. Shapes and lines are cut into the first layer revealing areas of the second layer, often black. Smaller lines and shapes are cut into the exposed area of black to reveal a third layer, often yellow. This procedure continues through as many as five layers of fabric. The raw edges of the patterned cuts are turned under and secured with hundreds of almost invisible stitches. No two molas are alike and each is a work of art. Molas depict everyday scenes, copies of other art, photographs, or even magazine or advertising illustrations. With the introduction of the gospel into the area, Church-related themes have been incorporated as mola subjects. The mola reproduced here, The Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood, is the work of an investigator to the Church and is 381 millimeters by 355 millimeters. Like all molas it was made to decorate the front or back of a blouse.