Approaching the village of Waraniéné in the late afternoon is a humbling experience. The village, nestled at the base of Mt Korhogo, seems to be in perpetual sunset. Golden light bounces off of the rust colored earth and the lush green vegetation and just catches the indigo blue emanating from the freshly dyed cotton hanging to dry in the sun. The sound of clinking shuttles as they move almost imperceptibly from side to side between the warp threads of hand built wooden looms creates an almost visceral experience.
The Dyula weavers of Waraniéné have perfected their craft over centuries. Creating captivating works of art, the village began weaving predominantly for commercial purposes in the 1970’s, selling directly to tourists and local consumers. Today, each geometric pattern and use of color still carry the history of the community’s aesthetics, but the weavers are free to create, develop, and modify as their artistic eye sees fit. Each motif is a modern interpretation of traditional patterns, re-imagined for the contemporary eye. The community functions as a social, artistic, and economic hub where traditions are passed down from generation to generation. By working directly with the master weavers at Waraniéné, we can help preserve this craftsmanship so it can endure, continue to evolve, and become a reliable source of income to anyone who wants to make this their livelihood.
Today, the collective has over 300 active members who contribute in a myriad of ways towards the production of these textiles. The development of this community is overseen by head weaver, Vali Coulibaly.