sample (textiles)

Textile decorated with beige geometric motifs (dots, dashes, E- and U-shapes etc) on a dark brown background.

This piece looks like a style of bogolan (‘mud cloth’), which was developed in the 1980s under the influence of the Malian fashion designer Chris Seydou. The National Museum of Mali has a section devoted to Seydou in their permanent textiles gallery, stating that he contributed to exporting the bogolan style to an international market. Though using industrial techniques and not made using the more traditional methods (argile, ngalama leaves etc), the geometric design of the motifs recall Bamanan ideograms. There are approximately thirty Bamana ideograms, each motif representing, for example, fish/ rain/ soul/ light/ animal etc although in recent times the motifs can take on more aesthetic nuances. Ref: Rovine, 2008.

Collection Information

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