Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Some comments on the diisa

Happy to get some interesting comments on yesterday’s post on the diisa, a long fringed indigo men’s shawl, through my Facebook and Instagram pages.

Malian artist and master dyer Aboubakar Fofana commented:

“these two photos are amazing. The dissa shawl was such an important piece for a man from this region. It was given to a young man by his mother when he got married. She would have saved for this shawl since her son was very young- they were a lot of work and were worth the same as 10 head of cattle. They were indigo dyed, and when the man died, this shawl would be his shroud. The celestial blue of indigo would help him pass from this world to heaven. I'm very proud to be making a modern interpretation of the dissa, with its long fringes, and I hope I am carrying on the tradition of something important in my culture.”

And Belgian art historian Patricia Gerimont, who is working on a book on indigo dyeing in Mali, supplied this information on indigo in Burkina Faso (my translation.)

“the indigo shawls and wrappers in Burkina are dyed by a specific group called the Yarsé, and also by other groups of Marka dyers. The Yarsé speak Mossi but are of Marka origin, you also find them in Dogon country under the name Yélin.”

And here is another photo of Samory Touré wearing his diisa.

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