This bag is made from Bogolan also called Mudcloth, wooden clasp handle, and leather. Bogolan or Mudcloth is a handmade Malian cotton fabric handwoven and traditionally dyed with fermented mud. It has an important place in traditional Malian culture and has, more recently, become a symbol of Malian cultural identity. In traditional Malian culture, Bogolan is worn by hunters, serving as camouflage, as ritual protection, and as a badge of status. Women are wrapped in this fabric after their initiation into adulthood and immediately after childbirth, as the cloth is believed to have the power to absorb the dangerous forces released under such circumstances.
The patterns are rich in cultural significance, referring to historical events (such as a famous battle between a Malian warrior and the French), crocodiles (significant in Bambara mythology) or other objects, mythological concepts, or proverbs. The use of the mudcloth in this piece brings out a contemporary yet an African fashion style.
The leather used for this bag is leather scraps mainly off-cut leather from bag making factories in Europe which has been upcycled or otherwise reused to make this beautiful piece. The bag is also embellished with an Adinkra pendant. Adinkra are symbols that represent concepts or aphorisms. Adinkra are used extensively in fabrics, logos, and pottery. The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life, or the environment. There are many different symbols with distinct meanings, often linked with proverbs.