- Museum number
Blanket made of cotton. Composed of seven narrow strips woven machine sewn together selvedge to selvedge. Plain weave. Warp: natural colour . Weft: hand-spun natural colour cotton, bleached industrial cotton and dyed red, yellow, green and black industrial cotton.
The predominant pattern running through the textile is alternating weft stripes in natural colour cotton (hand-spun natural colour cotton weft) and bleached cotton (bleach industrial cotton weft). Another decoration pattern is made of three transversal weft-faced bands, one in the centre, dividing the piece into two sections, and one at each end. Each of these bands is a white-background composition decorated with black diamonds alternating with bars, crossed-through by a red strip, all in supplementary weft, and bordered by checque stripes (white and black/ black and yellow), white, red, yellow and green stripes. That decoration is simplified on the two side- strips, in which the lozenges and bars are replaced with checque strips. Between these three transversal bands are irregular green, yellow and red weft-faced strips running through the full width of the piece.
The textile is finished by a fringe of unworked warps.
Length: 231 centimetres (including fringe)
Width: 132 centimetres
- Curator's comments
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 colourful 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.
See Ethdoc 358 - Notes by vendor
'Cotton blanket, Fulani, Mali.'
'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."'
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number