Mud cloth, or bogolanfini, originated among the Bamana peoples of Mali and its designs can be spotted in products across the world, although the source is not always credited. Bamana peoples used the dye-decorated cloth to make tunics for male hunters and wrappers for females to mark the most important milestones in their lives. While the cloth was previously associated with rural village life, today bogolanfini is worn by urban people, identifying them as native Malians.
The culturally significant designs on bogolanfini are painted by women with a dye made from fermented mud onto cloth handwoven by men. This exhibition explores the complete labor-intensive process and identifies how the distinctive patterns have been used in Western products, from designer clothing to home furnishings.