Bamana African Mud Cloth w/ Cowrie Shell Pattern 62″ x 38″ – Mali


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Traditionally, the Bamana people of Mali created this style of cloth from dyed fermented mud. It has been used as a symbol of Malian culture and is used worldwide for use in decoration, fine art and fashion. This piece has a pattern of cowrie shells and measures 62 inches by 38 inches. Used textiles may have minor rips, tears and faying of the edges. Please inspect photos.

Type of Object


Country of Origin





100% Cotton

Approximate Age







1 lb

Overall Condition

Textiles may have rips, frayed edges or minor stains. Inspect photos.


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Tribe Information

About the Bamana People

“The 2,500,000 Bambara people, also called Bamana, form the largest ethnic group within Mali and occupy the central part of the country, in an area of the savannah. They live principally from agriculture, with some subsidiary cattle rearing in the northern part of their territory. The Bambara people are predominantly animists, although recently the Muslim faith has been spreading among them. The Bambara kingdom was founded in the 17th century and reached its pinnacle between 1760 and 1787 during the reign of N’golo Diarra is credited with conquering the Peul people and in and in turned claimed the cities of Djenne and Timbuktu. However, during the 19th century, the kingdom began to decline and ultimately fell to the French when they arrived in 1892. For the most part, Bambara society is structured around six male societies, known as the Dyow (sing Dyo).”

Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.

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