Bogolan Cloth Process
Bogolan cloth, otherwise known as mud cloth, is a specialty of Mali, particularly amongst the Bambara people around Bamako and San. The lengthy process involves both men and women, with the men traditionally weaving the cloth and women performing the dyeing and painting. Natural dyes created from fermented mud and boiled leaves/bark are used to create the warm, earthy tones. Simpler production methods have also been added more recently, allowing for vastly increased production and opportunities for export. In both Bamako and San, I witnessed the more traditional, lengthy process taking place.
Supporting the Women's Cooperative
Many of these photos were taken at the Association des Femmes Veuves in the Sabalibougou region of Bamako, Mali. This organization seeks to train widows and their families in the art of bogolan cloth making in order to earn a living. You may contact the organization at: Tel (223) 79 30 90 98 or by email.