West African Bogolanfini CoasterRug: International - Travel Coaster Rug Set of Four
Mud-dyed cloth called bglanfini is a traditional textile of the Bamana people of Mali in West Africa. Nakunte Diarra, a contemporary bglanfini master, dyed the cloth inspiring this MouseRug design using a complicated process in which the mud dye is applied in the spaces around and between the pattern lines. Her cloths are marked by a sharp contrast between the dark mud dye and the light patterns, a variety of designs, and crisp, clear lines, all characteristics of fine bglanfini. The cloth usually displays dark brown or black motifs stained on a cream-color fabric. Sometimes the fabric is darkened, leaving the natural light color to form the designs. According to author Tavy D. Aherne, in Nakunte Diarra: Bogolanfini Artist of the Beledougou, "These motifs seem to act as mnemonic devices or cues, which trigger broader reflections about the nature of life and aesthetics. Meanings and names may change or vary from one area and from one artist to another, reflecting a fluid dynamic situation, susceptible to current events and changing concerns." Textiles, due to their nature as easily transportable and widely desired commodities, cross boundaries that are not only geographical, but also political, cultural, social, ethnic, economic, and gendered. Thus, they are particularly useful for dealing with such complex domains as the exchange of ideas and practices, and the manipulation and negotiation of ethnicity. The functions of cloths may fluctuate, as part of ongoing, ever-changing processes which reflect new concerns, inspirations, and patronage. Paper proposals are requested from individuals studying textiles' changing contexts over time, space, and across cultures, to create new forms, interpretations, meanings, and contexts of use. In this book, Aherne explores that work of Nakunte Diarra, a master bogolanfini artist. This enlightening and very readable work describes the traditional art form and how it is created using natural dyes and mud from local riverbanks. It delves into the various ceremonies at which bogolanfini is traditionally used and is still used today, such as marriages, births, excisions, and deaths. We see that "Bogolanfiniw is everyone's conception" because many people are involved in creating the thread which makes the cloth, which is cut into strips, etc. It is made obvious that the process of creating bogolanfini is demanding both in time and physical labor. It takes specialized knowledge to create the mud-dyed cloth. There are numerous photographs of the process of creating bogolanfini, finished works, and Nakunte and his family. Often, the bogolan is made into clothing and traditionally was used for headdresses, skirts, etc. This is an excellent source for visual examples of one of the most popular art forms of Mali and provides extensive information that I have found very useful in my research of this topic. Indiana University Art Museum houses one of the finest collections of traditional art from sub-Saharan Africa in North America. With over two hundred objects on display and a greater number in storage, the collection consists of representative examples of figural objects from major sculptural traditions all over the continent, as well as numerous examples of decorative arts, including furniture, jewelry, and textiles.
3.5" x 5" - Set of 4