Shaping Culture through Cloth in Contemporary Mali

by Victoria L. Rovine

Published by: Indiana University Press

200 Pages, 7.00 x 10.00 in, 69 b&w illus.

  • Paperback
  • 9780253220295
  • Published: August 2008


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Focusing on a single Malian textile identified variously as bogolanfini, bogolan, or mudcloth, Victoria L. Rovine traces the dramatic technical and stylistic innovations that have transformed the cloth from its village origins into a symbol of new internationalism. Rovine shows how the biography of this uniquely African textile reveals much about contemporary culture in urban Africa and about the global markets in which African art circulates. Bogolan has become a symbol of national and ethnic identities, an element of contemporary, urban fashion, and a lucrative product in tourist art markets. At the heart of this beautifully illustrated book are the artists, changing notions of tradition, nationalism, and the value of cloth making and marketing on a worldwide scale.