What do you know about Mudcloth? Mudcloth is known as Bògòlanfini or bogolan. The Mudcloth fabric is a handmade Malian cotton fabric which is fermented with mud and dyed traditionally. It is a symbol of the cultural identity of the Malian tribe and hence, is of traditional relevance.
Today, not only is it exported worldwide, the Mudcloth fabric is used in the fashion industry. It is also used for decorative purposes and in fine art.
The bògòlanfini is worn amongst men and women in the Malian culture. The Mudcloth fabric is used to wrap women after their initiation into adulthood. The Malians believe that the cloth possesses powers to absorb the dangerous forces released during childbirth. Hence, the women are wrapped in it immediately after childbirth. Hunters are also known to wear this attire as it serves as ritual protection, camouflage, and a badge of status.
The patterns of the Bògòlanfini are of great cultural significance and relevance as they refer back to historical events, crocodiles which are significant in the Bambara mythology, or other proverbs, objects, or mythological concepts.
The Bògòlanfini has been a symbol of the Malian cultural identity since 1980. The values of this fabric are preserved and promoted continuously by the Malian government.
What can you do with this fabric? While the fabric is not your native outfit does not mean you cannot rock it. We have many ways we can use this fabric.
Take, for instance, a Nigerian can use it in many ways, alongside their fabrics.
Which of these designs do you love? This Mudcloth speaks the same language we know in terms of culture and fashion. Find ways and create your style with this fabric.
Uses of the Bògòlanfini
I.) In art
Bògòlanfini paintings are made with the use of mud and vegetable dyes. However, these paintings may possess designs and patterns, which are not related to those found on the traditional fabric. Malian artists like the Groupe Bogolan Kasobané, six artists collaborating since 1978, and Nakunte Diarra produce these paintings as artworks.
II.) In exportation
In the United States and some other countries, the Bògòlanfini has become a popular Malian export. It is sold as an ethnic decorative fabric or as a symbol of the culture of African Americans.
III.) For decoration
The traditional bògòlanfini patterns are also used in decorating various commercial products, such as sheets, curtains, towels, coffee mugs, wrapping paper, book covers, and so on.
IV.) As an attire
The bògòlanfini is trendy among this young generation and can be made into various modern outfits like jackets, miniskirts, and even traditional flowing robes. People of various ethnic groups are known to wear these clothes in Mali. It is commonly worn in Malian cinema and by Malian musicians, which use it as either a fashion statement or to show their nationality and culture.
In an age where fashion is appreciated and different forms of art are coming into life, the Mudcloth fabric can be used to spice up your outfit or you could instead turn it into a business for sale to other interested people.