Bògòlanfini or bogolan (“mud cloth”) is a cotton fabric handmade in Mali which is traditionally dyed with fermented mud. It has an important place in traditional Malian culture and more recently, has become a symbol of cultural identity of the country. The fabric is exported worldwide for use in fashion, art and decoration.
The technique is associated with some ethnic groups in Mali, but the version Bambaran has become best known outside of Mali. In the Bambara language, the word “bògòlanfini” is a compound of bogo, meaning “earth” or “mud”, lan, meaning “to” or “through” and fini, meaning “cloth”. In traditional bògòlanfini production, men weave the cloth and women dye.