Friday, October 9, 2009

pagne Baoulé

Baoulé is one of the largest ethnic groups in Côte d'Ivoire, mainly concentrated in the center of the country, which is where I also live. Historically, they are part of the Akan tribe that settled here from Ghana a few hundred years ago. They're a well established ethnic group, in fact many of the ruling politicians were/are Baoulé. They are also well known for their woven cloth, pagne Baoulé.

Leaving Yamoussoukro and heading north into the districts were we work, there are tons of weavers (always boys and men, I've never seen a girl do it) on the side of the road:
They sit in these loom/contraptions and weave ~5 inch wide swaths of fabric.
The swaths are then sewn together to make the pagnes. Here are the ones I've bought (so far...)
They are pretty heavy (when I was sick I used one as a blanket) but a lot of people here use them to make clothes (which I can't imagine because it seems like it be really hot).
This is my favorite because it is made from a bunch of different swaths. It's like a leftover piece but I think it's the coolest.

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