sample (textiles)

Cloth for a headwrapper decorated with diagonal rows of hearts, drops, clubs, and four-petalled flowers made up of white dots on a purple background.

This looks like a piece of bazin cloth – particularly popular in urban areas. The cloth is soaked in heavy amounts of starch to lend rigidity to the fabric. When worn, this makes the wearer appear larger (and therefore wealthier). It also gives an aesthetic sheen to the garment. Bazin cloth is used for ‘boubous’ – worn usually by wealthy individuals and for special occasions. Because the fabric is so rigid at the start, it is physically ‘hit’ with wooden hammer-type utensils to soften the cloth. Men carry out this work and can be heard ‘hitting’ the cloth in urban and residential areas of Bamako

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: