Bogolan or Bogolanfini is Malian name for the traditional African mud cloth made in Mali. In the Bamana language, the term "Bogolan" or "Bogolanfini" means Mud cloth in English. The same term is also applied to the process of making these cloths.
Bogo means earth or mud, lan means withor by means of and fini means cloth. To make this cloth the artist uses a hand spun and hand-woven cloth on which he/she adds designs of his/her choice. The process of producing these textiles is exceptionally long and involves both men and women.
The cloth is hand spun and handwoven by men who use local cotton and small strip looms.
The strips produced are sewn together to make a large cloth.
The finished cloth is then washed off and dried in the sun.
The dried cloth is soaked in a mixture of pounded leaves from local trees.
Once dried, the cloth is ready to receive the mud dye and its decorations.
Traditionally, women oversaw decorating the cloth. With a small bamboo or metal spatula, the artist draws the designs on the dried cloth using a pre-mixed mud dye. After that the cloth is washed to remove any excess mud from the design process. Each design is outlined one more time. Patterns and colours may have much to do with gender, social status, or personal taste
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