Exhibitions/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Wrapper (Bogolanfini)

Date:
19th–20th century
Geography:
Mali
Culture:
Bamana peoples
Medium:
Cotton, dye
Dimensions:
H. 37 x W. 57 11/16 in. (94 x 146.5 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Woven
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979
Accession Number:
1979.206.190
Not on view
The word bogolanfini literally translates into mud-cloth (bogolan=something made by using mud; fini=cloth). In this Malian tradition central to Bamana culture, men weave the cotton cloth strips that are sewn together, thus producing the canvas that women decorate through a complex resist process using plant extracts and mud. In addition to their powerful graphic qualities, the numerous designs and patterns painted on the cloths denote symbolic significance. Young women acquire the knowledge and understanding of this visual language from their mothers through a long-term apprenticeship. The motifs are usually abstract or semi-abstract representations of everyday objects. Used in association with one another, they can give expression to a proverb or a song, articulate a message, or represent an historical event.
Women's wrappers were worn during important transitional periods: prior to the consummation of marriage or immediately following childbirth. Divided into five sections - four thin bands along the edges frame a larger central field - this wrapper is an early example of bogolanfini. The thin band adorned with little polka-dots marks the upper-part of the wrapper which is often hidden when worn. These little dots (a motif called tigafaranin=little peanut shell) symbolize the beaded belt baya that young Bamana women wear around their waist, which is identified with seduction and fertility.
Since 1970, an immense revitalization of this textile tradition has both expanded its consumption in Malian popular culture and led to its adaptation by international fashion designers.
[Robert L. Stolper Galleries, New York and Los Angeles, until 1960]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1960, on loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1960–1978

Related Objects

Kòmò Helmet Mask (Kòmòkun)

Artist: Date: 19th–mid-20th century
Accession Number: 1979.206.150
Date: 19th–mid-20th century Medium: Wood, bird skull, porcupine quills, horns, cotton, sacrificial materials Accession: 1979.206.150 On view in:Gallery 350

Wrapper (Bogolanfini)

Artist: Date: 19th–20th century
Accession Number: 1979.206.190
Date: 19th–20th century Medium: Cotton, dye Accession: 1979.206.190 On view in:Not on view

Interior Hanging

Artist: Date: 19th century
Accession Number: 1971.30
Date: 19th century Medium: Cotton, wool, natural dye Accession: 1971.30 On view in:Not on view

Woman's Head Tie

Artist: Date: mid-20th century
Accession Number: 2013.1094.3
Date: mid-20th century Medium: Cotton Accession: 2013.1094.3 On view in:Not on view

Panel

Artist: Date: 20th century
Accession Number: 1989.217.3
Date: 20th century Medium: Cotton Accession: 1989.217.3 On view in:Not on view