Launch of the Documentation, Conservation and Revitalization of Textile Traditions of Central Mali Project

U.S. Embassy in Mali

Press statement

N °: 14-EN Bamako, Mali, December 16, 2021

US Ambassador Dennis B. Hankins joined Mr. Andogoly Guindo, Minister of Crafts, Culture, Hospitality and Tourism, for a launch ceremony for the 2021 State Ambassadors Fund project -Unis for the preservation of culture on textiles in central Mali. Ambassador Hankins said: “This project is motivated by the belief that the preservation of Mali’s cultural heritage is a key element in ensuring that a shared sense of Malian identity is passed on to the next generation. He added that young people would play a key role in this project to ensure that the endangered traditions carry on for another generation.

The cultural missions of Djenné and Bandiagara will document the textile traditions of the Dogon, Peuls and other communities of central Mali, and help these communities to revitalize the production methods, designs, skills and tools associated with their textile traditions. unique. Central Mali is home to the oldest and richest textile heritage in Africa. Protecting and celebrating this heritage is part of the process of uniting all Malians, regardless of their ethnic origin, in building a positive vision for the future of Mali.

Anne Compton, a cultural heritage analyst with the US Department of State, came from Washington, DC, to participate in the opening ceremony. She carried a message celebrating the 20e anniversary of the United States Ambassadorial Fund for Cultural Preservation. She stressed that “this fund enables American ambassadors to identify elements of cultural heritage which are particularly vulnerable and in need of protection”. She pointed out that Mali and the United States have built strong cultural partnerships through this program, with Mali having participated since the very first year of the fund’s existence. During these two decades, Mali received nine grants covering all of Mali’s cultural riches, including the preservation of Islamic manuscripts; the preservation of 14e the Kankan Moussa Century Mosque in Gao; documentation of endangered musical traditions; and an inventory of archaeological sites.

Of all the projects in Africa selected for the 2021 competition of the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, this project in Mali is the most important. This testifies to the talent and dedication of the Malian team that will implement the project. A key feature of Ambassador Fund projects is that local partners carry out protection work in a way that respects the traditions and priorities of the host country. The cultural missions of Djenné and Bandiagara work closely with local communities to ensure that local artisans benefit from both the cultural and economic benefits of the activities.