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Cloths

Bogolan mudcloths from Mali

Bogolan or bogolanfini or mudcloth is a handmade Malian cotton fabric traditionally dyed with fermented mud and other natural components. It has an important place in traditional Malian culture and has, more recently, become a symbol of Malian cultural identity. The cloth is exported worldwide for use in fashion, fine art and decoration. In traditional bogolan production, men weave the cloth and women dye it. On narrow looms, strips of cotton fabric about 10 to 15 centimetres wide are woven and stitched into cloths about 1 metre wide and 1.5 metres long. A traditional bogolan cloth always tells a story, or at least has several meaningfull features. The color red, associated with blood, offer protection while bleeding.