Bògòlanfini or mud-dye resist cloth has become an international Malian trademark. It is originally a Bamana cloth design tradition using local leaves’ plants to create deep colors and shape geometric patterns. According to John Gillow, It was first made commercially for an international film festival in Bamako in the 1970s. As Gillow stated, bògòlanfini is part of a large export market for those concerned with “black consciousness” Bògòlanfini is a traditional clothing worn by hunters, pregnant women, women giving births, excised women to protect them from the evil spirits that could cause death. Its changing use has evolved over time and has also crossed cultures and space.
Bògòlanfini fabrics embody the symbol of black identity in many countries in Africa and for the black diaspora as well. It is present in fashion. The late Chris Seydou, a Malian born fashion designer, used bògòlanfini fabrics and made it known to the fashion industry. It has been recently featured in Givenchy and Oscar De La Renta collections.
Bogolan fabrics are also used in fashion accessories but they are mostlyembedded in African inspired interior design. In interior design, Bogolan is a leitmotiv, they have become an everyday cloth in home interiors, used as table cloths, runners, throws, wall features etc… In "Inside Africa", Taschen has featured Christian Louboutin’s bold bogolan throw in his Marrakech home. Bogolan’s boundaries are being pushed by Nakunte Diarra, a designer who mixes his traditional craft skills with contemporaneity. Nakunte’s rugs are beautiful, their busy patterns would appear as a bold feature on a wall or floor.
I believe that Bògòlanfini concept has a future in interior design as the concept is no longer textile based, its busy patterns will fluctuate and inspire an eclectic range of media. Christian Astuguvieille’s mirror exemplifiesit
Please enjoy the few selected pieces.
"African textiles" by John Gillow
"Bogolan: Shaping Culture through Cloth in Contemporary Mali" by Victoria Rovine