Threads of Time: Tradition and Change in Indigenous American Textiles

Dulemolaguna (Blouse Panels) with Spiral Patterns



Dulemolaguna (Blouse Panels) with Spiral Patterns

Catalogue Entry

Dulemolaguna (the plural of one dulemola, a cutwork panel) are panels set into indigenous Guna women's blouses, one in the front and one in the back. These two panels share a color scheme and general patterning; however, they do not strictly match each other.

In handmade pieces such as these it would be challenging to make two exactly the same, although the talented Guna artists are capable of doing so if desired. Yet it is more typical for a pair to feature the kind of creative differences seen here: the top one with its upper sets of spirals making diamonds and the bottom one with a pin-wheeling set of four in its lower left corner. This makes a blouse more interesting and shows the artist’s design prowess.

One has been turned over to show the back face, highlighting the red and turquoise layers of cloth and clearly showing the sewing pattern of the red thread. Two-color, geometric dulemolaguna are known as “grandmothers,” revered as the earliest type but still widely made today.

Geographic Area

Central America, Guna Yala (San Blas Islands/North Coast
of Panamá)




20th century



Credit Line

Lent by Gail and Clark Goodwin

Accession Number

L2016.24.1A, L2016.24.1B

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