- Museum number
Skirt; woven in machine-spun cotton. Composed of eight narrow strips, hand sewn together. Plain weave strips resist-dyed in indigo to form lighter herringbone patterns along each strip. Zig-zag patterns along one short end. Over-sewn at ends of strips at both ends to tie in loose warp threads.
- Production date
Length: 153.50 centimetres
Width: 103.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Used by women as a wrap-around skirt. May also be used as a woman's top. (Pers. Comm. Claude Ardouin, 2006).
This woven indigo-dyed cotton cloth is identified by the generic name "saranfini", which means in Bamanankan "stitched cloth", referring to the stitch-resist dye method. This type of indigo dyed skirt is widely used among the Soninke and Khassonke women in north-western and western Mali. They are commissioned by women either for their own domestic use or for sale. The women-clients would gather the threads required and commission a weaver to create the required strip length which would vary according to the desired length and width for the skirt (a wider skirt would require a greater number of strips to be sewn together). Once woven, the strip is cut into the required number of strips which are then sewn together. The assembled skirts are dyed either by specialists-dyers (women) or by the owner (in some rural areas where indigo-dyeing is still practised). Most of the designs used in the dyeing of the "saranfini" have specific names.
- 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.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number