Djenne Journals

Djenne: Mosque, Market, and Mud Cloth

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A January 2006 trip to Djenne by HELEN001

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: Djenné is 450km northeast of Bamako and situated on an island in the Bani River on the edge of the Niger delta region. It is home to the largest mud building in the world, the Grande Mosquée. The town was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

Djenne: Mosque, Market, and Mud Cloth

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Overview

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Winding backstreets daubed with the occasional piece of obviously contemporary graffiti, flame-lit faces of people sitting and talking quietly in the glow from night-time street ovens, and the mysterious mythology depicted on the bogolon cloths. At night you can sample the somewhat repetitive Fulani music at the Campement du Djenné or, if around at the weekend there is the unusual Espace Cultural du Djenné to try. Above all this there is of course, the Grande Mosquée. It tends to be the start and finish point for any forays into the backstreets, so you see it at all times of day on different days of the week from numerous different viewpoints–it’s a photographer’s paradise. The riverside market car pa...Read More

Campement

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Hotel | "Campement du Djenne"

Quote:
Well to be honest, they were a bit on the shabby side. The rooms were gloomy and the whole place could have done with a lick of paint. At night the courtyard bar/restaurant area was heaving with mosquitoes, as were all the showers and toilets. It’s also one of the few places in town that sells beer, so it is busy with non-residents in the evenings, making it impossible to get a table at which to eat. If you wait until later, you run the risk of a severely limited menu involving cous-cous or they’ve run out of everything. The service is really friendly, really slow, and quite often very forgetful. The majority of clients appear to be tour groups, which involves a lot of yelling up, down, an...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 27, 2006

Campement
Near the Great Mosque
Djenne, Mali

Kita Kourou Restaurant

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Restaurant

Quote:
There’s not a huge range of foodstuffs available in Djenné, and consequently none of the restaurants have a particularly varied menu. The same is true of the Kita Kourou, however, they do an excellent milky coffee and continental-style breakfast with delicious local honey. Again, in common with other eateries in town, the service can be a bit on the leisurely side. This is because a lot of them do not keep huge supplies in stock ,so sometimes when you order something you have to wait while they go out and buy it. The food at the Kita Kourou makes up for the wait by being piping hot and well cooked. Their omelets are particularly good, and if the staff likes the look of you then you end up being pli...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 27, 2006

Kita Kourou Restaurant
Near Post Office
Djenne, Mali

Grand Mosque (Konboro Mosque)

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Attraction | "Grand Mosque (aka Konboro Mosque)"

Grand Mosque (Konboro Mosque) Photo, Djenne, Mali
Quote:
In a way I wish I’d never seen photographs of the mosque before I’d seen it. Photos I had seen made me think of some sci-fi distant galaxy empire movie backdrop. When I saw the real thing, I still felt the same, but I thought it was stunning as well. There appear to be no straight lines, yet there is a strong sense of geometry in the building. It looks different at different times of day, it changes color and shadow. It looks cool in the bright noon sunshine, then it glows at sunset and seems to radiate warmth. On Mondays, it provides a neutral and calm backdrop for the bright colors and frantic activity of the weekly market. During the rest of the week, it just is. At night, the sharply defined si...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 27, 2006

Grand Mosque (Konboro Mosque)
Town Centre
Djenne, Mali

Monday Market

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Attraction

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
It’s a glorious riot of activity, colour, and noise, that’s what it’s like. Not unlike most markets in Mali in fact. What makes this market special is the imposing backdrop of the Grande Mosquée, which makes up the whole of one side of the market square. The other buildings surrounding the square, with their curvaceous mud walls, provide a perfect frame for the market. Offhand, I can’t think of a market anywhere that has such a spectacular setting. The population of Djenné apparently triples on a Monday, and it is definitely packed pretty solid with stalls and people. The going underfoot is surprisingly clean, and there are none of those puddles of unknown liquid that you usually find in the market...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 27, 2006

Monday Market
In front of Grand Mosque
Djenne, Mali

Glorious Mudcloth

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Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Mudcloth, or bogolan, refers to a type of rough-woven cotton fabric that has been died using a mixture of mud, tree-bark, and other natural ingredients. The rich earth-coloured cloth is then made into blankets, or items of clothing. Mopti and Segou are centres of bogolan production, but it seems somehow appropriate that some excellent quality mudcloth should be produced in a city built of mud. Now you see mudcloth items for sale in markets all over Mali but it is worth going to visit a good workshop because if the process has been explained to you, and you’re thinking of buying some, then you’ll recognise good quality when you see it. Before being dyed, the cloth is woven into long strips ...Read More