Date: March 31, 2010
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, email@example.com
PNC Odyssey Series “A Modest Introduction to Kuna Culture”
WESTVILLE –The Purdue University North Central Odyssey 2009-10 Arts and Cultural Events Series presents the exhibit "A Modest Introduction to Kuna Culture,” a loan from the collection of Mel Theobald shown on the first floor of th e Library-Student-Faculty Building. One display is located in the building lobby, another is adjacent to Coffee Central. The exhibits are free and open to the public.
One level below in Assembly Hall, Room 02, Theobald is exhibiting “ A Mythical Reality,” featuring 23 large-scale photographs in LSF on the lower level. All will be on display through July.
"A Modest Introduction to Kuna Culture,” is a collection of molas , beaded necklaces, nuchus and medicine pot. This exhibit is underwritten in part by General Insurance Services. This collection is useful as an introduction to the culture of the Kuna tribes. The items were acquired by Theobald's parents in 1971 when they were guests of Frank Cortelloni, an official of the Canal Zone in Panama , who arranged for them to visit the Kuna island of Machatupu in the Ailigandi region.
The Kuna, an indigenous Central American population, have been able to preserve much of their heritage from being destroyed by outside forces. The women are adorned, pierced and decorated with gold jewelry, women dress in brightly colored blouses they call “dule mola,” the people's clothing. With a rich ethnoaesthetic history, the women symbolically represent the world of nature, objects and myth as abstract images on the garments they create. The art of the mola is a complex process of reverse appliqué using multiple layers of fabric to form a tapestry of linear patterns with delicately sewn edges.
During their long existence, the Kuna have developed knowledge of the medicinal use of natural products. Employing their belief in magic, medicine men have guided the skills of males in the crafting of 'nuchugana,' wood dolls used to protect the health of the dule – the Kuna word for people - through their great healing powers.
To arrange a tour, or to obtain further information about this exhibit or the Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series, contact Judy Jacobi, PNC assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Community Relations at 785-5200, ext. 5593. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Jacobi.