Laura and Crystal recently started on a project to sell molas and other Panamanian handcrafts online. To that end, Laura has been building a store, PanamaArts.com, using Yahoo's small business tools. Last year I began buying up Panama related domain names, since it's a topic that I'm interested in, so I'm happy that one of them has come in so handy.
Last week Laura gave Cleo some money and sent him on a journey down to the San Blas islands, home of the Kuna people, to buy some top quality molas, so that she can begin stocking the online store. Cleo returned this morning, looking deeply weary.
Cleo opened the waterproof bag that Laura had loaned him and spread everything out on the table. He managed to secure 35 high quality molas. We gave him some coffee and cookies and he spent a long time explaining to Laura the cosmological significance of each mola. You see, the authentic mola patters all represent some aspect of Kuna belief regarding the origin of the universe and the meaning of the sun, moon and stars.
I loaned Cleo my camera for the trip. The Kuna people in general do not like having their pictures taken, believing that it steals the spirit, but Cleo managed to take a few candid shots of women working, excluding their faces:
Look for Laura to be adding these molas to the online store within about a week or so.