- Museum number
- Object: Marriage equipment
Marriage wall-hanging. Hand-woven textile in twelve narrow strips. White machine-spun cotton warp and weft; synthetic wool weft; unworked warp fringes at either end. Design features five human figures with weft-faced orientation. Central standing female figure dressed in a blouse, flanked on either side by two figures of males, two dressed in brown forms, and two in blue forms. Weft-faced transversal bands worked in multi-coloured green-yellow-red synthetic wool; motifs run across length of textile.
- Production date
Length: 252 centimetres (including fringe)
Width: 145 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Information supplied by Bernhard Gardi (West African textiles specialist from Basel):
The weavers name given here - Jiga - is almost certainly the short and colloquial form of Jigannde. The patronyme (or yettoore, as the Peul will say) Jigannde is one of the eight patronymes of the maabuuBe weavers in the Niger Bend: Saré, Sanngo, Jigannde, Kassé - and the last four (affiliated to the jaawambe and not directly to the Peul) are Bocoum, Daw, Kida, Nyaan (also Nyaangado).
This marriage wall-hanging is called "Comité Militaire" and was made to be used as a decorative wall-hanging or to be folded and placed in a pile with other woven pieces to decorate the bed. It would possibly be part of a bride’s trousseau.
It was made by Jara Ila Jiga, a weaver from Korientze town in the Central Delta of the River Niger, of the Maasina traditional region, in the modern Mopti administrative region, Mali. Maasina region is a renowned historical centre of weaving, and particularly of wool weaving.
The piece was woven on a double-heddle narrow strip loom, from one continuous warp strip. It is interesting to note the use of industrial wool weft-threads, instead of locally manually-spun sheep-wool. Each strip is designed in order to match with the strips next to it in order to form the overall design. The weaver plans in advance the designs of each strip according to the desired overall design and length. During the weaving process a short length of un-worked warp threads is left between the edges of the adjacent strips to mark the intervals. After the weaving the strips will be separated by cutting the woven piece in the un-worked intervals, and then they will be assembled together by sewing them selvedge to selvedge.
The scene with the woman and the soldiers could be interpreted as an appeal against sex for money (the cliché of soldiers going in groups and paying for sex-partners). It could also be interpreted as a satiric image about the depravation of military power in Mali, hence the name “Comité militaire”, being a reference to the supreme organ of authority put in place by the army officers who came to power following a coup in 1968.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- 2007 (22 March)
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased in Bamako, Mali, during a field trip in March 2007 by Dr Claude Ardouin, Curator, Department of AOA. Purchased with funds from grant allocated by the Townley Group.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number