Mud cloths are a distinctive fabric made by the Bamana peoples of Mali. They are made into men’s sleeveless loose tops and women’s wrap-around skirts. Narrow pieces of cotton cloth are produced on treadle looms worked by men. These strips of cloth are then sewn together by hand to create a complete textile which is then resist dyed.The Bamana peoples have an unusual way of dyeing. The whole cloth is first dyed yellow. They then paint mud from local rivers onto the cloth to create darker areas, and use a caustic solution to “discharge” the dye from the lighter areas. The geometric designs are often stylized forms of animals or other objects from the natural world. The zigzag motif is known as the legs of a cricket. Deliberate ‘mistakes’ in the otherwise geometric patterns are thought to represent coded messages.
Founded by the TuaregImashagan in the 11th century as a place where they kept their goods (with an old Tuareg woman called Tin Abutut) when they went roaming the desert for grazing lands for their animals.Natural meeting point of Songhai, Wangara, Fulani, Tuareg, and Arabs.Located where the Niger River flows northward into the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, a cross roads where “the camel met the canoe.”Goods coming from the Mediterranean shores and salt were traded in Timbuktu for gold from the mines of the Boure and Banbuk in .Books of black scholars and scholars of the Sanhaja descent were traded. (intellectual importance)Became a celebrated center of Islamic learning by the 12th century, during the golden age of Africa. Had 3 universities and 180 Quranic schools.Prospered until 1591 when the Moroccan army, under the leadership of Pasha Mahmud ibnZarqun, sacked the city, burned the libraries, and put to death or deported to Fes and Marrakech many scholars who resisted.Was brought under French rule in 1893 until Mali received its independence in 1960.Many manuscripts originating from Timbuktu can be found in French museums and universities.After a coup in March 2012, two armed groups took control of the northern part of the city: Ansar Dine and rebels from the National Movement for the liberation of Azawad, known by the French M.N.L.A. The Ansar Dine soon overpowered M.N.L.A.Ansar Dine have destroyed the city’s mosques, manuscripts, mausoleums, and Mali’s cultural heritage. They defaced shrines, destroyed the tombs of local Sufi saints, and disfigured mosques because they consider these sites idolatrous and contrary to their puritanical interpretation of Islam. They have vowed to destroy the remainder of the city’s shrines, including 13 remainng World Heritage sties.Unesco has condemned the attacks and called for an immediate end for violence, but it has little influence over Ansar Dine and the region. Its calls for a stop to the destruction has seemed to only increase the violence.
90% of Mali is Muslim (mostly Sunni)5% is Christian5% is indigenous religion
In 2008, cotton represented 10.7% of Mali’s total exports. The only greater exports were pearls, precious stones, metals, coins, ect., which represented 74.9% of Mali’s total exports.In 2012, Mali exported 1,000 480lb. bales of cottonThe WTO only prohibits subsidies it believes distorts trade and hurts farmers in other countries. In 2003, 25,000 cotton farmers received almost $4 billion/year in subsidies.US cotton subsidies encourage American farmers to grow more than the “equilibrium” amount of cotton, thus driving down the international price of cotton. The US also “dumps” excess cotton in the world market, driving down the price further. Non-American farmers find it hard to compete.Mali’s government cannot provide subsidies, it does offer loans to help farmers cover expenses and guarantees it will buy all the farmers can grow.Ibrahim Coulibaly, Director of External Relations: “This economy is too dependent on cotton, and this is a source of great difficulties for farmers. This year, many farmers won’t earn enough to pay off their debts. Or it might be more serious: they might even stop farming entirely.”
Teacher. Created a federation of teachers’ unions.Outraged by the situation in Africa under colonial domination. Since 1937 became involved in movements and associations. Landed him in prison briefly in 1946 as French deemed him dangerous.1948 served on the territorial assembly of French Sudan.1956-1958 served as a deputy in the French National Assembly, becoming its first African vice president.Became mayor of Bamako (capital) around same tie.Through a referendum in 1958, Sudan became an autonomous state within the French community, the Sudanese Republic. Wanted to create a West African federation of former French territories, but settled for a Mali Federation made up of Senegal and Sudan of which he became president. August 1960 the federation split. Marxist. Adopted Socialist policies. Nationalized key sectors of the economy and established close ties to communist countries.Repressive regime.By 1967, Mali was experiencing growing economic and financial problems.After being overthrown spent the remainder of his life in detention at Camp Kidal. Subjected to continual isolation, received only 4 letters a year, refused to be released on the promise to abandon any political activity.
1. The Magic Gourd by Baba WagueDiakite (illustrator)Tells a tale from Mali about a magic gourd that can fill itself with whatever it owner desires. There is a powerful lesson about generosity within the story.2. The Hatseller and the Monkeys by Baba WagueDiakite (illustrator)This is the Mali version of Siobodkina’s Caps for Sale. Set in Mali, BeMusa is not only a hatseller, but comes from a long line of hatsellers. Only after the man eats some of the monkey’s mangoes can he think with a clear head and reclaim his hats.3. Mee-An and the Magic Serpent by Baba WagueDiakite (illustrator)Beautiful Mee-An wants to get married but can’t seem to find a man as perfect as she. One day her sister finds Mee-An the perfect mate and Mee-An is determined to marry him despite a series of bad omens that occur. In the end she discovers that he is not at all what he seems to be.4. I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakite (Illustrated by Baba WagueDiakite)Based on a true story this book tells of a young girl from Portland, Oregon who visits her family in Mali. There she loses her loose tooth and receives a special gift from the African “tooth fairy.”
Web Resources for Teaching Mali• Interactive photo albumhttp://www.ruf.rice.edu/~anth/arch/mali- interactive/• The Achievements and Challenges of Malihttp://www.worldtrek.org/odyssey/teachers /malilessons.html• Resources for Malihttp://www.sasupenn.edu/African_Studies/C ountry_Specific/Mali.html
Webliography• Mudcloth information: www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_ objects/aoa/m/mud_cloth_bogolanfini.aspx• Title slide mudcloth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Traditional_mud_clot h.jpg• Children’s Books mudcloth http://africandesertcrafts.com/shop/images/uploads/2 -8-10Shoot/O-Fabric-MaliMudCloth12-09-5.jpg• Arts and life mudcloth http://www.eshopafrica.com/acatalog/texmud16.jpg
WebliographyCotton:• People & the Planet: http://www.peopleandplanet.net/29305/gallery/cotton-farmer- mali.html• Economy Watch: http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/mali/export- import.html• “United States’ Last Chance to Save Cotton Subsidies,” Illinois Business Law Journal: http://www.law.illinois.edu/bljournal/post/2012/02/02/United- States-Last-Option-in-Cotton-Dispute.aspx• “Pricing Farmers Out of Cotton: The Cost of World Bank Reform in Mali,” Oxfam Briefing Paper: http://www.oxfamamerica.org/files/pricing-farmers-out-of- cotton.pdf
WebliographyTimbuktu• Timbuktu Educational Foundation: http://www.timbuktufoundation.org/history.h tml• “The ‘End Times’ for Timbuktu?” New York Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/o pinion/the-end-times-for-timbuktu.html?_r=0