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Marriage wall-hanging "Issa Moodi." Rectangular wall-hanging made of ten hand-woven cotton strips dyed the required colours hand-sewn together selvedge-to-selvedge.
The decoration is organised in transverse bands with continuous weft-faced arrangement. The central group of bands is structured around a white-background band with black bars and dots made in supplementary weft technique and forming a succession of alternated triangles separated by bars. Additional decoration is made of two lines of un-worked twisted yellow, red and green cotton threads. That central band is bordered on both sides by a succession of one black-and-white, two yellow, two red and one green band. The red and the yellow bands have white and black oval motifs made in supplementary weft work.
Symmetrically displayed on both sides between the central group of bands and the end of the piece are two similar groups of red, yellow and green bands – less one yellow band – structured around a white background band with black bars and dots made in supplementary weft technique, however less the additional decoration of un-worked twisted cotton threads.
On both sides between those two groups of bands and the central group is a chessboard-shape group with three weft-faced bands of black and white squares. The white squares are decorated with a lozenge prolonged on two tops by two small bars and a triangle, all made in supplementary weft work. The black squares are decorated with yellow, red and white lozenges in supplementary weft work.
From both ends of the piece there are two bands of plain weaving black and white squares with no additional decoration. The strips end in loose warp threads.
- Production date
Length: 273 centimetres (including fringe)
Width: 148 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This piece called “Issa Moodi” is used as a decorative wall-hanging or to be folded and placed in a pile with other woven pieces to decorate the bed. The name "Issa Modi" refers to a chief called Issa Modi, who was in mid-twentieth century a renowned and respected local chief - "chef de canton" and Muslim religious leader in the Mopti region. The design was created in the 1960s and became very popular, spreading up to Bamako, the capital city of Mali.
The "Issa Mody" belong to the new genre of coloured wall hangings which appeared in the early 1960s in the enthusiasm generated by the freshly obtained independence of Mali and by the celebration of the new nation (and of belonging to that nation), first of all as part of the Federation du Mali (together with Senegal) and later as a separate Republic of Mali. The predominance of the colours of the Malian flag (green, gold and red) is the colourful expression of that vibrant enthusiasm visible in the various different models of the new weavings created by the "Maabube" - the weavers - of the Inland Delta of Mali. Maabube (sing. maabo) are a Fulbe artisan cast specialised in weaving The creation of that new genre reflected also the fact that innovation and reaction to change - through the creation of new models with new names - had always been one the historical features of the maabube weaving.
The new beautiful wall hangings immediately became very popular and they were adopted as part of the brides' trousseau in the Inland Delta, in addition to and with the time competing with, the classic woollen bed-screens “arkilla kerka”. They also gained popularity in major urban centres such as Bamako and Segu. 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) called Aba Aba. The piece was woven on a double-heddle narrow strip loom. 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, and then they will be assembled together by sewing them selvedge to selvedge.
An important feature which developed in these new designs was the combination of squares of different colours to form larger geometrical figures, with a distinctive combination for each specific design, and the use of some of the ancient patterns of wool and cotton weaving - here the motifs "bukiwal" and the "kalikali" - combined with the new colours in quite a complex structure. The motif on the central band - alternated black and white triangles - is the classic "bukiwal" made in supplementary weft work (this particular technique is called in Fulfulde "tshopè") and embellished with un-worked twisted yellow, red and green cotton threads.
On both sides of the band with the "bukiwal" are the colours of the Malian flag (green, gold and red). They are followed by a chessboard area in which the white and black squares called "kalikali" form in combination the "nabirdi kamu" (meaning "the ladder to the heaven"). The white squares are decorated with the lozenge-shaped motif called "jowal".
The second chessboard area is called "dandè" (meaning "the neck"), placed just before the end of the textile, a tradition found in other classical models. The end of the textile is considered as the “entrance”, hence the reference to the neck.
- 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