Dogon Woven Cloth

Simple, large piece of Dogon woven cloth, possibly a blanket.

Tribe: Dogon

Origin: Mali

Approx Age: Mid – Later 20th Century

Materials: Cotton cloth

Dimensions cm: 220 (long) x 124 (wide)

Ref. Number: 1261


A lovely large piece of Dogon woven cloth known as Bogolan cloth from Mali, possibly unprocessed, cloth due to the lack of heavy design. Made up of several thin strips sewn together to create the larger piece which is a recognised method of cloth production. The base colour being white/cream with the adornment of three strips of a contrasting blue, complement this textile. Diamonds and lines being used to create a design/pattern. One strip on the edge of the cloth carries a heavier design of diamonds and lines,  Showing signs of having been used, fraying to both top and bottom which again is not uncommon with this textile due to the way it is produced.

Provenance: Ex Professor David Molyneux collection


The different stages in the process of fabrication are well-defined and distributed between men and women. With the revenue that women earn from the cultivation of their own fields, they buy cotton and other raw materials and spin the thread manually. The thread is then given to weavers, who are always men. The men weave the overall width based on orders given by the women and are remunerated by the latter. The women then decide if the fabric will be sewn, dyed or directly sold to merchants. There are three weaving traditions, particularly following the different fabrics made traditionally and currently. The first tradition carried out on the escarpment, in the village of Yawa, as well as on the plateau in the village of Koundougou. It is characterized by the production of greige width in cotton without motifs. The second identifier is present on the Seno plain in the village of Logo. It is distinguished by the weaving of widths decorated by stripes on the warp. These stripes are made with beige or indigo-dyed threads of cotton, silk or fibres extracted from bombax fruits. Such widths are only used for the production of feminine loincloths. The third tradition has been found in the Pignari region in the villages of Tangadouba and Pigna. It is characterized by the production of widths with motifs made by supplementary blue wefts, dyed with indigo, on a beige background. These widths are used to make blankets, which are used in many Dogon villages in traditional funeral ceremonies.

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