Djenne, Mali (a.m.) / Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso (p.m.)

  • Date
  • 7 April 2000
  • Lodging
  • Hotel l'Auberge
  • Distance
  • 418 KM
  • Total
  • 69391 KM

7 April 2000 – Djenne is one of the most picturesque towns we’ve visited in West Africa with the centerpiece Grande Mosquee, the largest mud structure in the world. The mosque, rebuilt in Sahel or Sudanese-style mud architecture in 1905, resembles the original mosque dating back to the 11th or 13th century (date cannot be confirmed) destroyed by a religious fanatic in 1810. The wooden spikes add to the aesthetics of the mosque, yet they serve as functional scaffolding when mud lost during the rainy season is replaced by up to 4000 local townspeople.

We also visited the women’s cooperative and Pama Sinatoa’s shop to see mud cloth or bogolan, which is special to this region of Mali. Bogolan begins with local weavers completing narrow panels that are then sewn together and dyed yellow from a mixture made of local leaves. Then the yellow cloth is covered in designs (traditional geometrical but now some animal designs ‘for tourists’) using various colors of mud. Gray and black come from the river area and red and orange colors come from the crop areas. After the design is finished, the cloth is left in the sun. When the mud is removed, a masterpiece remains.