Clothing Style, Bambara Woman, Senegal, 1850s


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Image Reference
Boilat15

Source
P. David Boilat, Esquisses Sengelaises (Paris, 1853), plate 24 (Special Collections, University of Virginia Library)

Comments
This portrait, the author writes (p. 31), is of a woman named Sira, who requested him to draw her. She is sitting on a woven grass mat and is wearing an elaborate silk gown, her holiday dress. An ornate kerchief or head-tie of Madras cloth is tied around her head, and her jewelry consists of large gold earrings, and several bracelets and anklets, in addition to a long necklace which ends in little straw rings that have been made with great care. She is also shown with cicatrisation/scarification marks are on her cheeks. Boilat made his drawings from life; his 24 plates are explained in an accompanying text. For biographical details on Boilat, see image reference Boilat01.