Segou and Old Segou

Segou was our reason for being in Mali. And Segou has my heart.

  • Nieleni Tappisserie - women's cooperative for making wool carpets
  • Bajidala Atelier and Hotel - upscale hotel by the river and arts center for artist residencies and exhibitions
  • Studio Soroble - bogolan cooperative run by the Coulibaly brothers, employing 26 to make very fine bogolon textiles

Sikoro is the original village of Segou, its families still live there, still fishing and farming on the banks of the Niger River. I bought bogolon and indigo from from a women's collective there. It is a beautiful place, but a hard life for its residents and they tolerate tourists and students and anthropologists and missionaries and well-wishers alike by collecting a fee for the privilege of visiting and providing a guide to give you an efficient tour of the most prominent physical features of the town and the history of its society. Sikoro women's cooperative for making bogolan and indigo textiles - I can't recall if there was a sign over the doorway to this place, but we were invited in to see and buy what they made. There were three or four young women, teens or early twenties, and two or three girls as well as the lead older woman who invited us to see what they make. I, being the wide-eyed newcomer, was in the midst of a purchase at precisely the same moment as I was uttering what I thought were simply words of admiration. This was a fairly typical state for me to find myself in and I was so bothered by being a tourist in people's homes that I felt anything I bought was the least I could do for the privilege. So, for far less money that anyone should expect, I left there wearing a beautiful piece of indigo and carrying another and a large bogolon wall hanging.