Textiles in Mali

by Rachel Hoffman
Formerly University of California, Los Angeles

Women arrive at the Ende village market wearing locally woven cloth. Photo by Rachel Hoffman.


At the Ende Village Market, women arrive wearing a great variety of cloth, ready to sell produce from small, personal gardens. Like weavers who combine work at their looms with conversation, for women the market is a time both for making pocket money and for dressing up and socializing. Grains, such as millet, are displayed in dried gourds; fish, onions, and herbal seasonings are bartered in exchange for other goods. In the center background, a woman wears warp-pattern indigo strips sewn at the selvages to form a wrap-around skirt. To the far right, boloti has been woven into warp-pattern strips and is worn by a woman as a wrap-around skirt in the same way as she would wear more traditional cloth.