Threads of Time: Tradition and Change in Indigenous American Textiles

Dulemola (Blouse Panel) with Hummingbirds and Flowers

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Dulemola (Blouse Panel) with Hummingbirds and Flowers


A more recent blouse panel combines the long-practiced technique of cut, folded, and sewn patterning with actual appliqué, the sewing of additional shapes on top. The lozenge shapes are made in the traditional way, cutting through and folding back to reveal the colored layers below. However, the three hummingbirds feeding from flowers are largely appliqué, pieces of cloth sewn on top; the overlapping of the ends of the spread tail feathers make this clear. A few touches of embroidery delineate the flowers' stamens (vertical lines with balls at the ends) and the tiny bird feathers. The dulemola is a constantly evolving art form, yet new choices may yet express age-old values; the exploration of different layers still pervades Guna textile aesthetics.

Geographic Area

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




20th century



Credit Line

Lent by Sherry Thorup

Accession Number


Photo Credit

Photo by Michael McKelvey, 2017

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