- Museum number
Blanket "sakalaare": multi-colour hand- plain woven wool and cotton blanket with black designs. Made of seven hand-woven plain weave strips hand-sewn together selvedge to selvedge. The warp is made of natural colour locally produced cotton threads. The weft is made of locally produced manually spun natural colour and black sheep wool; locally produced manually spun unbleached sheep wool dyed with brick-red and saffron-yellow vegetal pigments prior to weaving; and natural colour locally produced cotton threads. Both sides of the blanket are finished with plaited black wool threads. The strips end-up in un-worked twisted cotton threads.
The decoration is organised in transverse weft-faced white, saffron-yellow, light brick-red and black continuous bands symmetrically organised starting from the centre. In the centre of the piece is a composition made of a black band with small white oval forms inside, flanked on both sides by a saffron-yellow band and a narrow black-and-white band with a black zigzag inside. The same composition is repeated on both sides of the blanket. Alternating with those compositions symmetrically from the centre is a succession of white, light brick-red and black bands. Inside the bands are geometrical compositions of black and white lozenges and triangles decorated with white, saffron-yellow, light brick-red dots.The geometrical decorations are made in supplementary weft technique.
Finished by a fringe of unworked warps.
- Production date
Length: 285 centimetres (including fringe)
Width: 146 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Sakalaare is a prestigious and remarkable sheep-wool and cotton blanket which is accessible mainly to wealthy people among the Fulbe. This piece was woven in Sangubaka (Region of Mopti) in the late 1990s by a weaver called Mangel Saare. It shows the classic decoration of a good quality sakalaare with transverse weft-faced white, saffron-yellow, light brick-red and black bands symmetrically organised starting from the centre and decorated with geometrical compositions made in weft techniques.
The motifs on the blanket are:
- almaajè, which is the leading motif found in two bands on both sides from the central band
- a variation of the bitshirgal and
- amrewal (name of a water tortoise), found at both ends of the strips.
The white oval motif in the central black band is called tshukè.
Both sides of the blanket are finished with a plait called sembiyaji, made of plaited black wool threads.
The process of making a sakalaare is a woman’s responsibility. A woman would commission it for her husband or her children. The production is a complex process starting with gathering the necessary quantity of wool and cotton threads either by spinning and dyeing, or by buying them. The weaving is commissioned with a maabo weaver. The maabube (singular 'maabo') form a specialised cast of weavers in the Fulbe society. The finishing is done exclusively by the client, i.e. in most cases by the Fulbe. The plait sembiyaji on the sides is made or bought by the client’s husband. All the strips and plaits are assembled together by a skilled Fulbe.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- 2006 (22 November)
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased during a fieldwork and collecting trip to Mali by Dr Claude Ardouin (Dept of AOA) from 10-25 November 2006. Purchased from funds provided by Townley Group.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number