This cloth is an example of bògòlanfini, mud-dyed cloth traditionally made by Bamana women in Mali. Characteristically, bògòlanfini patterns emerge as the mud dye is painted around them, filling the negative space with a rich black color. Most often, the patterns on bògòlanfini are traditional, with their names referring to the natural environment, everyday objects, and historical events and people; a dyer shows her artistry in combining motifs and patterns to make an appealing cloth in which the color contrast is high and the motifs are sharply and cleanly delineated. However, on this cloth, Nakunte Diarra invented the diamond band filled with x-shaped motifs at the bottom of this cloth to honor a friend.
Malian, born ca. 1941
L. 56 ¼ in. (142.9 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. Barbara G. Hoffman and Mr. Michael R. Short, 2006.7