Handmade pillow made from a Dong hill tribe wedding quilt panel and brown bogolanfini The Dong people live mostly in eastern Guizhou, western Hunan, and northern Guangxi in China. Due to the remote location, the Dong have preserved a traditional way of life and ancient traditions are plain to see for any traveler lucky enough to travel through the province. Textiles are still vitally important to the people of Guizhou, both culturally and economically. Age old methods of textile production are still implemented today and draw influence from  intricately decorated fabrics like this vintage wedding quilt. The Dong people rely heavily on oral tradition, and share a rich array of legends and folklore through popular operas performed by local troupes, and their internationally-renowned polyphonic choir has been listed by UNESCO as a world-class intangible cultural heritage since 2009. Dong hill couples wed on quilts like this one and then use them as bed covers. 14″ x 18″ China Early 20th century Brown Bogolanfini Handmade Malian cotton fabric dyed with fermented mud. It has an important place in traditional Malian culture and has more recently become a symbol of Malian cultural identity. In traditional bogolanfini production, men weave the strips of cotton on narrow looms and women dye it. The cloth is soaked in a dye bath made from mashed and boiled, or soaked, leaves of the n’gallama tree. Now yellow, the cloth is sun-dried and then painted with designs using a piece of metal or wood. The paint, carefully and repeatedly applied to outline the intricate motifs, is a special mud, collected from riverbeds and fermented for up to a year in a clay jar. Thanks to a chemical reaction between the mud and the dyed cloth, the brown color remains after the mud is washed off. Finally, the yellow n’gallama dye is removed from the unpainted parts of the cloth by applying soap or bleach rendering them white. After long use, the very dark brown color turns a variety of rich tones of brown, while the unpainted underside of the fabric retains a pale russet color.

Inventory No: P134