Mud cloth (bogolanfini)

20th century, about 1960
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Mali


Overall: 147 x 117 cm (57 7/8 x 46 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cotton, pigment

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Textiles and Fashion Arts



The mud-dyed cloths of the Bamana, called bogolanfani, are used for a variety of purposes. The patterns are created by first dying the cotton cloth in a vegetable dye, which is then painted with a mixture of iron-rich mud. When introduced to sunlight, the chemical reaction between the vegetable dye and the mud creates the dark colors. Hunters wear protective bogolan when in the wild and young women are wrapped in them during excision rituals.


Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart