Whales ladies Wear
When Anne Gordon de Barrigón, an American woman who has been living in Panamá since 2004 and is married to a man from the Emberá tribe, whose family still live in traditional villages in the rainforests of Panamá, began looking for a traditional Kuna mola patch with a dolphin on it, the search took years. How she found this unique patch, which originates with the Kuna (aka Guna) tribe who come from the San Blas islands off the NE coast of Panamá, is a story of destiny and friendship. Even though dolphins are often seen in the waters around these islands, the Kuna do not pay much attention to them as they are not considered either a food source or threat to the Kuna people, so they rarely use dolphin designs in their traditional mola artistry. Finally, in September of 2014, Anne was in the El Valle de Anton public market and found the perfect dolphin patch from a Kuna woman, Lastenia Navarro, and immediately asked if she could make 20 more.
The motivation for Whale Wear.
When Anne picked up the first 20 dolphin mola patches she stopped by a friend’s house on the way home. This friend, synchronistically had a hemp-blend line of clothing that she had designed and successfully sold in the US but had closed the business to pursue other artistic avenues and a more relaxed life style. Anne saw the inventory of clothing that her friend still had on hand and immediately her mind started spinning with ideas to incorporate the mola dolphins onto the beautiful clothing line. She arranged to buy the entire inventory and met with Lastenia and her sisters to create the world’s first completely dedicated line of whale and dolphin mola design clothing using all natural hemp-blend materials. We hope you will enjoy wearing them as much as we have enjoyed creating them Whales ladies Wear.
An Angel in disguise. What Anne did not realize, that fateful day when she met Lastenia and fell in love with her dolphin mola patch, was that Lastenia’s husband, had died suddenly of a heart attack the year previously. He had been the bread winner of the family. Lastenia’s son and his wife and their two beautiful young daughters moved in with Lastenia to help support her. Then a few months later her son abandoned his wife, daughters and mother and left to live in the big city with another woman and stopped sending them any money at all. To make matters worse, Lastenia’s landlord kicked them out of their apartment because he had other plans for the apartment, so now they are living in a smaller apartment at a higher rate. Then one day, Anne walked into Lastenia’s life and formed a partnership and friendship and source of steady income for Lastenia and her sisters, Norma and Berta and her daughter-in law, Saribeth, all who are single Kuna mothers who were struggling to survive before the creation of Whale Wear.