- Museum number
Blanket made of industrial cotton. Composed of nine hand-woven narrow strips made of industrial cotton yarn and machine-sewn together selvedge-to-selvedge. Plain weave strips, with decoration added in supplementary weft work, except for the two strips on the sides which have less supplementary weft work. Warps: natural coloured industrial cotton yarn. Wefts: bleached cotton and dyed black, red, green and yellow industrial cotton yarn.
The decoration is organised in coloured and white bands with continuous transverse weft-faced arrangement, symmetrically displayed on a white background. Some of the bands are decorated with geometrical motifs made in supplementary weft work. The piece is divided into two sections by a white-background central transversal band decorated in supplementary weft work with black triangles and bars crossed-through by a red line, with, on both sides, two slim green-yellow-and red strips which extend in tassels. That central band is bordered on both sides by a plain-weave red-yellow-green band. On both sides of that central band is a white-background band with black diamond-and-bars motifs in supplementary weft work, followed by another band with black geometrical motifs in supplementary weft work and bordered on both sides by a red-yellow-green band. In the spaces on both sides of those two bands are successions of plain-weave white, black and red narrow bands.
The two strips on the sides are plain weave and have less supplementary weft work limited, in the central band, to four slim black and white bars and two green-yellow-and red bars extending in tassels.
At both ends are two plain-weave white bands separated by a black-and-white bar.
The textile is finished by a fringe of unworked warps.
Length: 247 centimetres
Width: 140 centimetres
- Curator's comments
See Ethdoc 358 - Notes by vendor
'Cotton Blanket (Maasina), Fulani, Mali. Purchased in the City of Mopti in May 1990. Cotton blanket typical of the Niger Delta (Tenenkou Maasina). Can be used for decoration or wedding gift. Strings hanging off the central area are called buki (or groups), present in special pieces.'
'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."'
This piece belongs to the category of blankets called in Fulfulde "sudumaare walaniyeeri", which in the Inland Delta of the Niger River in Mali (Mopti and Timbuktu regions) are part of the bride's marriage equipment and may be used as a decorative wall-hanging or to be folded and placed in a pile with other woven pieces to decorate the couple's bed. The model belongs to the new generation of coloured marriage blankets which spread since the 1960s in the enthusiasm generated by the independence of Mali as a young nation, with the predominance of the colours of the Malian flag (green, gold and red), sometimes inserted into older designs. An important feature in these re-visited as well as of the new designs was the use of some of the old patterns of wool and cotton weaving - here the transveral weft-faced arrangement of the motifs and the supplementary weft motifs of the black diamonds and bars.
The new beautiful designs became very popular and were adopted as part of the brides' trousseau in the Inland Delta, in addition to or competing with, the classic woollen bed-screens “arkilla kerka”. They also gained popularity in major urban centres such as Bamako and Segou. One of the factors of their success was that they were made of industrial cotton threads which were easier to procure than wool, and therefore accessible to more people.
This piece was woven by a "maabo" (weaver) on a double-heddle narrow strip loom. Maabube (sing. maabo) are an artisan cast in the social system of the Central Delta Fulbe-speaking people. One of their main specialties is weaving. The whole textile is woven from one continuous warp strip. Each strip is individually designed with the view to match with the strips next to it in order to form the overall design. The weaver therefore plans in advance the designs of each strip according to the desired overall design and length. The decoration is made through plain-weave coloured bands with transversal arrangement and by adding motifs in supplementary weft-work. During the weaving process a short length of un-worked warp threads is left between the edges of the adjacent strips to separate the strips. After the weaving the strips were separated by cutting the woven piece in the un-worked intervals, and then they were assembled together by sewing them selvedge to selvedge on a sewing machine.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number