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Who Made It: Artisan Habibou Coulibaly | Burkina Faso

Thread Spun and Cannonball Collective fair trade artisan Habibou Coulibaby from Burkina Faso
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I attended my first International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in July, and was thrilled to support fair trade and folk artisans from around the world. One of the first artists whose work caught my eye is Habibou Coulibaby, a textile artist from Burkina Faso, Africa. Coulibaby is a member of a local bogolan mudcloth cooperative in his village, and was excited to show off his naturally-dyed and handmade fabrics.

Habibou Coulibaby, a textile artist from Burkina Faso, whose artisan textiles are sold by Thread Spun and Cannonball Collective.

Handmade and fairtrade African mudcloth textile by a Malian man sold by Cannonball Collective, San Diego.

Hand-dyed and fair trade mudcloth from Mali sold by Cannonball Collective in Encinitas.

Coulibaby is one of more than one-hundred fifty folk artists from around the globe that participate in the International Folk Art Market each year. The market offers artisans access to international markets, and on average, more than $20,000 USD is sent back per booth to artists' native countries. This income often helps sustain entire communities, aids in cultural preservation, and contributes to economic and social development.

Habibou Coulibaby, a textile artisan from Burkina Faso, whose fair trade goods are sold by Thread Spun online and in store.

Fair trade mudcloth by artisan Coulibaby from Mali and Burkina Faso sold in California by Cannonball Collective.

Handmade and fairtrade African mudcloth textile by a Malian man sold by Cannonball Collective, San Diego.

Originally from Mali, Coulibaby now lives in Yam Tinga, Burkina Faso. Influenced greatly by his grandmother, his family and his cultural traditions, Coulibaby utilizes a natural-dye called bogolan in creating his fair trade textiles. Bogolan, or "Bogola Fini" in the native Bambara language, is a dye made of clay, grains, tree leaves, and other organic materials. 

The process is time-consuming and precise, and begins with handmade, 100% cotton. The handmade texitles are then soaked and dried three times before being treated with alum. Artists apply designs that reflect the local culture, and replicate symbols, signs and masks carved on the walls of their huts.

African mudcloth artist Coulibaby sells his textiles online and in store at Thread Spun and Cannonball Collective in Encinitas, CA

African mudcloth in the bogolan style by artisan Coulibaby sold by Thread Spun in California.

Bogolan mudcloths by artisan Coulibaby sold at Cannonball Collective in Encinitas

An expert in traditional dyeing practices, Coulibaby is committed to his craft, referring to it as his cultural heritage. Creating the mudcloth allows him to provide for his family and reduces unemployment and poverty in his village. Through his local cooperative, artisans receive fair wages and young people and women receive training and sales and production assistance.

By purchasing Coulibaby's Bogolan mudcloth, you are helping to empower people around the world through fair trade. Check out his fair trade, African mudcloth textiles available in our shop today!



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