Display Cloth (tapis)

Display Cloth (tapis)


Nakunte Diarra

(Malian, c. 1941-2020)

Cotton, earthen pigments (mud-dye)

Overall: 155.6 x 170.8 cm (61 1/4 x 67 1/4 in.)

Gift of Barbara G. Hoffman and Michael R. Short 2016.48



The bògòlanfini, or mud-dyed cloth, is a century-old textile tradition of the Bamana people of Mali that evolved over time. This contemporary example comprises 12 strips of woven cotton stitched together to form a rectangular or square panel before being dyed. Nakunte Diarra names her textile after its dominant design pattern. In this example, the narrow, long strip between diamonds is the principal design. It is thought to memorialize the Bamana warrior Diossé Traoré who committed suicide rather than surrender to the colonial French army on March 18, 1915. Traoré’s grave in his village of Koumi in the Koulikoro region of Mali is now a pilgrimage site.

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