African Mudcloth

The meaning of the symbols can differentiate between regions, tribes and where the cloth was created but there are some common understandings of what Bògòlanfini is and what it represents. Women are wrapped in a traditional piece of Bògòlanfini once they are initiated into adulthood. It is believed that the patterns within the cloth are imbued with Nyama, which is a vital life force, energy or strength. Male hunters wear Bògòlanfini, whom are also granted with Nyama to protect them during their hunts. The hunter’s mud-cloth is dyed a rusted color to camouflage them as well as represent blood for their hunted animals. Black backgrounds with white symbols are common color combinations that are used for storytelling. Other common representations depicted in mud-cloth are major events such as the birth, marriage or death of someone or even an individuals social status, or occupation.