Mali - Djenne Market Day

Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Messages
348
Location
Southern California
I just came back from a 6 week trip to West Africa. I flew through Morocco to Senegal, and went to Gambia and Mali.

There will be many more photos in the next few days as I have a chance to go through them.

Here are some photos from Djenne:

The town of Djenne host a market on every Monday of the week. The market is set up right in front of the Great Mosque of Djenne, in the center of town. People from nearby villages, and even from as far as Burkina Faso come to the market to sell and buy produce, spices, clothes, jewelry, animals, etc. Most traders arrive the night before, and start setting up at around 6:00 A.M., the market lasts until the afternoon.

The historic city center of Djenne was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. The city was founded about 300 CE by Bozo people and became a very important stop in the Trans-Saharan trade, rivaling Timbuktu.

The Great Mosque of Djenne is the largest mud brick (adobe) building in the world. It was first built in 1280 after the conversion of Koi Konboro, the 26th king of Djenne, to Islam. In the early 19th century, it was left to fall to ruin. The mosque that you see today was rebuilt in 1907, but being a mud building it is recovered in mud every year before the rainy season.

Wikipedia has excellent articles and links about Djenne and The Great Mosque if you would like more information.


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Ferry crossing over the Bani river into Djenne.


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Cars waiting for the ferry, the yellow and white Peugeot 504 station wagon was the taxi that I traveled in. It has 7 seats, and there were 14 of us in the car for the 3 hour journey from Mopti. Other taxis I've seen also had that many people, and some had quite a few goats strapped to the roof for the journey to the market.


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Kola Nuts, as in Coca-Cola. These are very popular with the Dogon people, but they do not grow in Mali. All of the Kola nuts for sale in Mali are imported from Cote D'Ivoire and go up in price the further north from Bamako you are.


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A rooftop view of the market, with the Great Mosque of Djenne in the background.


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People at the market.


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Women selling dried fish.


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An old madrassa, Islamic school, which was converted to be an Islamic library. It was redone in a Moorish style (Brought over by Moroccan traders).


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Woman sitting in front of the entrance to the library.


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One of the main entrances (this one being for men only) to the Great Mosque of Djenne.


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Children getting water out of a well.


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An ablution area for the Great Mosque.


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View from a rooftop of the surrounding houses, the Great Mosque can be seen in the background.


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Typical door of a traditional mud-brick house, note the use of an animal horn to adorn the house above the door.


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Most of the people cannot afford to travel to the market by car, so they travel from nearby villages with their own horses or donkeys and carts. The carts allow them to bring lots of produce and other items for sale. They are left outside of the city during the market day.


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Animals and empty carts left outside the city


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Part of the animal market. A small to medium sized goat (like the ones in the picture) are worth about 10,000 CFA, or about $18.


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Women selling dried fish.


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A side entrance to the Great Mosque.


Below are photos of traders at the market:
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Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
2,296
Location
Ohio & Florida
Hi Phillip,

A great set of photos and a fine report on your trip. From Your website, you look to be one of the few here on the Cafe that travel as much or more than Nan & I do.

Djenne was on the schedule for our Around Africa trip in 2005, but the tour operator was unable to make the air connection from Bamako work, so we went on to Namibia a day early.

Post more photos when you are ready,

Bob & Nan
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
413
Location
Alaska
Excellent set of images from a seldom visited part of Africa.
The Great Mosque of Djenne has to be one of the most intriguing
bits of architecture on the planet. Nicely done.
 

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