- Museum number
Blanket composed of six narrow strips of hand plain woven wool hand sewn together selvedge to selvedge. Each strip consists of natural coloured woollen warps and black, brown and natural coloured woollen wefts. This combination of warps and wefts is used to create two brown weft blocks which are used to divide the cloth into three.The central section is decorated with a series of repeating geometric patterns in dyed brown, black and yellow wool. In the further two sections there are a series of black weft stripes. Each warp edge of the cloth is edged with a length of twisted brown wool. The warps have been over sewn, plaited and knotted to create tassels.
- Production date
Length: 262 centimetres (including tassels)
Width: 155 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Used by herders for warmth and protection from mosquitoes.
See Ethdoc 358 - Notes by vendor
'Woollen blanket (khasa daneejo (white)), Fulani, Mali, purchased (commissioned) in the Arrondissement of Konna, Circle of Mopti in May 1990, woven in Konna. Traditional wool blanket used by Fulani herders to keep warm on the transhumance. Patterns typical of Niger delta: Djallube or Diafarabe. All natural dyes e.g. red is l'oseille (French) plant, black is bark, yellow is flower.'
'Note: all blankets 100% handmade done on double-heddle looms using handworked local cotton or wool (sheep). Wool blanket used all natural dyes, cotton blankets typically use synthetic dyes. All blankets are typical Fulani style of the Niger Delta area in Mali. In Fulani the weaver who's part of a special sub ethnic group is called "maabo". Cotton blanket is called "suudamaare" wool "khasa."'
The woollen blankets kaasa are probably the oldest woven materials used by the Fulbe of the Central Delta of the Niger River in Mali. Among them the kaasa landaka are one of the finest types.
The kaasa Landaka is composed of six strips sewn together, each strip measuring from 25 to 30 cm width and up to 2.5 m length. The strips are woven from local black sheep wool and natural colour wool dyed with vegetal pigments. The Inland Delta of Mali is one the few areas in Sub-Saharan Africa where wool is traditionally produced.
This piece was probably made in Jambakuru, not far from Konna (in the Region of Mopti) in the 1980s. It shows the classic decoration of a kaasa landaka, with transverse weft-faced geometrical and linear decorations. The combination of lozenges, triangles and lines found at both ends of each strip is called in Fulfulde "bitshirgal", considered to be an “onset” motif and one of the key motifs on most of the Central Delta Fulbe weavings. All the other motifs are said to be re-combinations of the different elements of the bitshirgal.
The main motif of the kaasa Landaka is called in Fulfulde "landal" (plural landè), hence the name of the textile "landaka". On the two central strips the landè are adjusted back to back to form the two leading combinations of the textile called "sudu misiide" (“the mosque”), interpreted as a representation of an old mosque, with a possible reference to Al-Aqsar Mosque.
The second important motif composed of three large lozenges alternating with two smaller lozenges is called in Fulfulde "jowal".
Another important feature of the piece is the brick-red band at both ends, which is called "daakul" and is a characteristic element found in all types of blankets "kaasa" and "sakalaare".
In this piece is lacking the bidinol (in Fulfulde language), a hand woven narrow strip which is usually inserted in the landak and other kaasa blankets. The piece lacks another characteristic feature usually found on the kaasa landaka blankets, which is the finishing of both sides of the blanket with a plait called "sembiyaji", made of plaited black wool threads.
The ends of the strips are finished by cords made by twisting together the warp threads protruding from the ends of each strip. The cords of adjacent strips are eventually twisted together and tied to form a knot with a tassel.
The process of making a kaasa landaka is a women’s responsibility. A woman would commission such a blanket for her husband or her son. The production is a complex process starting with gathering the necessary quantity of wool threads either by spinning and dyeing, or by buying them from other sources. The weaving is commissioned with a maabo weaver. The maabube (singular 'maabo') form a specialised cast of weavers in the Fulbe society.
The blanket is woven on a double-heddle narrow strip loom of a particular type used for wool weaving. The whole textile is woven from one continuous warp strip. 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. The motifs are formed by the various different colours of weft threads and types of weft-work. 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 finishing is done exclusively by the client, i.e. in most cases by the Fulbe. All the strips are assembled together by a skilled Fulbe.
- Not on display
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number