Bogolanfini (“Bo-ho-lahn-FEE-nee”), which translates as “mud cloth” is a long established tradition among the Bamana, a Mande speaking people in Mali. Traditionally, women create mud cloth to mark major life transitions such as birth, death and marraige. Warriors also use mud cloth for the forceful visual symbols of the supernatural powers believed necessary for successful hunters to possess. Each piece of mudcloth tells a story. No two pieces are alike and each pattern and color combination has a meaning. The symbols, arrangements, color as well as shape of the mudcloth reveal secrets. The mudcloth is also used to define a person’s social status, character or occupation. Bogolanfini is an expression of Malian national identity and a symbol of belonging to African culture.
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5th graders have created their own mud cloth. Here are some samples of their artwork below:
Check these out in person in the office!