The Silence of the Women: Bamana Mud Cloths is the first full-length scholarly book entirely devoted to an African art form created by women of the Bamana people in Mali, West Africa.
These traditional mud-dyed textiles have typically been treated as craft but, here, they are presented as a complex art form. Sarah Brett-Smith sensibly explores the hidden cultural testimony written into the mud-cloth patterns, documenting women’s silent visual commentary on the events that dominate their lives – excision, arranged marriage, childbirth and death.
This book explores both art historical and anthropological considerations of technique, style, symbolism and function in Bamana textiles. This book is a decisive contribution to our understanding of female artisans/artists in Africa and it explores hitherto untouched areas of African art and culture and leads us into an emotional understanding of the shadowy world and silences of female knowledge.