Four kilometers down a red dirt road from Korhogo, Côte d’Ivoire lies the village of Waraniéné. Traditionally weavers, the community has perfected their craft for centuries and their textiles are captivating works of art. The village incorporated in the 1970’s and began weaving predominantly for commercial purposes, selling directly to tourists and local consumers. Today, each geometric pattern and use of color still carries the history of the community’s aesthetics, but the weavers are free to create, develop, and modify as their artistic eye sees fit. This means that their motifs are modern interpretations of traditional patterns, re-imagined for the contemporary aesthetic, and continuously evolving. These communities function as a social, artistic, and economic space with traditions being passed down from generation to generation. By focusing on where these art forms originated we can preserve these traditions so they can endure, continue to evolve, and become a reliable source of income to anyone who wants to make this their livelihood.
The collective has over 300 active members who contribute in various ways to the production of these textiles. The development of this community is overseen by Vali Coulibaly and 10 other elected officials who lead the collective.