- Museum number
Marriage wall hanging composed of sixteen strips hand woven and sewn together selvedge to selvedge on sewing machine. Warp threads are made of industrial cotton threads, weft threads are made of synthetic wool and industrial cotton threads. The strips end in loose warp threads. The design features seven human figureswith weft-faced orientation. A central standing female figure is flanked on either side by three figures wearing uniforms (two blue and one brown on the left side of the blanket, two brown and one blue on the right side). Some of the dress and shoes of the figures are woven with wool while others woven with cotton. Between the figures are weft-faced transversal bands worked in multi-coloured green-yellow-red synthetic wool. Details of faces and dress are outlined in supplementary weft work. The figures are surrounded by a rectangular frame in multi-coloured green-yellow-red synthetic wool. The whole piece is surrounded by a black rectangular frame formed by the two side strips and end bands all woven with black synthetic wool weft threads. On the two side strips are inscriptions made in supplementary weft work: FIDELITE, OU 75000, AMOUR, PAIX, 1996, 1996 (repeated), JOVIALITE, FRATERNITE, LONGEVITE. Motifs cover the whole piece. Repairs made with industrial cotton threads on sewing machine are visible on the right cheek of the second figure on the right side (blue dress).
- Production date
Length: 376 centimetres (incl fringe)
Width: 179.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Decorative blanket to be hung on a wall. Such blankets are often part of the bride's equipment among the Mali Inland Delta fulfulde-speaking (Fulbe) people.
This piece is used as a wall-hanging or to be folded and placed in a pile with other woven pieces to decorate the bed. It was woven on a double-heddle narrow strip loom by Oumar Bocoum, a maabo who lives in the city of Segou. Maabube (sing. maabo) are an artisan cast specialised in weaving, and related to the social system of the Fulbe people in the Central Delta of the Niger River in Mali. 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 combinations of coloured squares made of different colours of weft threads and by 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 mark the intervals. After the weaving the strips will be separated by cutting the woven piece in the un-worked intervals. In this case the strips were assembled together by sewing them selvedge to selvedge on a sewing machine. A very interesting fact is the massive use of industrial synthetice wool in combination with industrial cotton threads called "boloti" in Fulfulde (language spoken by the Fulbe people).
From the words woven in the side strips, the blanket can be interpreted as a set of different important messages and wishes, probaly to the bride. The inscription wish Faithfulness (Fidélité), Love (Amour), Peace (Paix), Longliveness (Longevité), Brotherhood (Fraternité), and Joyfulness (Jovialité). At the same time the inscriptions are combined with the motives in an appeal against sex for money. It suggests that, for the woman represented in the centre, the choice is between faithfulness and an immediate gain of 75,000CFA Francs (about £75), the only price that she would get if she would sell herself to the six soldiers surrounding her. However in that case she would lose everything else suggested by the words in inscription. The notion of commercial sex is linked to the image of group of soldiers, a typical image in the popular imagery. 1996 is probably the year when the blanket was woven. Another important feature is the wide use of green, yellow and red, which are the colours of the Malian flag.
- Not on display
- Good general condition. One lateral strip has holes made by nails/pins on which the blanket was hanging.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- To be credited as Presented by Antony Griffiths and Judy Rudoe.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number