Friday, 13 July 2012

Ghana Boy meets Al-Buraq


In the 1960s and 70s many young Dogon and Bamana  men from Mali migrated to the relatively cosmopolitan cities of Accra and Kumase in Ghana in search of work. Back home to show of their new found sophistication these youths became known as the “Ghana Boys.”  Alongside imported clothing,  some wore a new and distinctive style of embroidered sleeveless tunic  decorated with colourful and often figurative designs.


This example, which was collected recently in Jenne, has a particularly fine depiction of Al-Buraq, the winged horse that carried the Prophet on his night journey to Jerusalem.

For more on “Ghana Boy” tunics see Victoria L. Rovine: Continuity, Innovation, Fashion – Three Genres of Malian Embroidery in African Arts 44(3) Autumn 2011

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