Ali Guindo is one of the weavers who weaves cotton to make into mudcloth clothing and accessories. He weaves the fabric, and then it is taken to a painter, such as Mme. Kono (below), who paints the designs onto the fabric. Ali Guindo is from the Dogon ethnic group and works in a little village called Somo, in the Dogon area of Mali, West Africa. Because he lives in such a remote area (where many foreign buyers don't venture to go), finding him to make some of the mudcloth fabric was a great way for him to increase his business. It also insures that we get the highest quality of fabric.
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Sade Toure is a bronze caster in the Ivory Coast, in a village called Nangalako. His family has lived there for as long as he can remember, and all of them have been bronze casters. They pass down the tradition from generation to generation. Sade is a real artist, with a passion for creative designs in bronze work. Using the traditional lost-wax method, he is finding it harder and harder to find buyers for his traditional work. His traditional work is especially time consuming and most buyers simply want the lowest price they can get. We were happy to find one of the remaining lost-wax artists and love the opportunity to display the traditional, premium quality, bronze work that he creates. He is also a family man, married with two children, a boy and a girl. Sade also works doing some farming in his nearby garden.
This man, Kabine Coude, is a fun loving individual who takes great pride in his work. He also likes to joke around with those in the shop were he works. He lives in Bamako, the capital city of Mali, West Africa. He works in an ebony shop, known all over the surrounding African continent for it's high quality ebony pieces. He's been working with ebony ever since he was a child, and loves the work. His family background is in Burkina Faso, where he is a part of the Mossi tribe, known by the Malians as having a reputation for their honesty, even in hard times. He is also married with a family.
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Boubakar Kante is the head of the shop were Kabine Coude works closely with him. Boubakar supervises the workers of his ebony shop; known all over the African continent for its fine quality. Boubakar, an older gentleman has been working with ebony all of his life. His shop is in the capital city of Bamako, in Mali. His reputation is known far and wide.
Click here to see all of the Ebony Carvings available from Africa Imports.
Usman Sagara. This smiling gentleman works doing specialized traditional carvings. He makes the Dogon seated couples for us, one of which he's holding in this picture. His family origins are of the Duru ethnic group, a group in the Dogon region of Mali, West Africa. He is a very conscientious worker, always faithfully striving for high quality. Usman is a very serious family man, and has been working on traditional carvings ever since childhood.
Mme. Kounte is one of our mudcloth painters. She has been painting for a long time, and is quite skilled in making the designs. She actually from the Bozo ethnic group, which is mainly comprised of fishermen from along the Niger River. However, her husband, (also from the Bozo ethnic group) became a tailor and she went into mudcloth painting. She has five children, one of whom is shown here with her. She likes to work on the mudcloth that she makes for us, and if you ever purchase a piece of mudcloth, know that Mme. Kounte was probably one of the painters who painted on some of the creative designs in your piece.
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