Mud Cloth / Bogolanfini

1982.140.JPG 1976.T.6.5.JPG 1982.139.JPG

Mud cloth is another common African textile. The mud cloth at the Miami University art museum comes from Mali as well as Cote d'Ivoire. Mudcloth produced in Mali is called Bogolanfini. In the language of the Bamana people from Mali, bogolan means “something made with mud” while fini means cloth.

Mud cloth starts out white and is soaked in a leaf solution before being left to dry in the sun. Mud is then rubbed into the cloth. After that, a solution of caustic soda, ground peanuts, and millet brand is used to produce yellow designs on the mud cloth. Bogolanfini is known to be worn by hunters, as well as by newly excised women and women immediately after childbirth in order to signify important events in a woman’s life.

Includes information from:

Donne, J. B. “Bogolanfini: A Mud-Painted Cloth from Mali.” Man 8, no. 1 (March 1973): 104–7.

Rovine, Victoria. “Bogolanfini in Bamako: The Biography of a Malian Textile.” African Arts 30, no. 1 (1997): 40–96.

Mud Cloth / Bogolanfini