The weaving of a textile anthropology

75 years of textile craft development by women in Burkina Faso (1912-1987).

Before the Missionary Sisters arrived in the Mossi country in 1912, textile-related activities were traditionally organized according to gender. The revolutionary government of Thomas Sankara put women’s weaving practices at the heart of its politics with the faso dan fani and collapsed in 1987. This text tries to understand how between 1912 and 1987 Mossi women acquired a wide variety of textile-related skills and habits. The analysis highlights the complex connections linking religion and the Christian missions, economy and politics, that shape the production and consumer habits of textiles in Burkina Faso.

The author

Laura Fortin is a doctoral student in social anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Multidisciplinary bachelor's and master's programs have introduced her to a variety of social sciences, from sociology to anthropology, political science, history and economics. In this multidisciplinary dynamic, her doctoral research focuses on the place and role of women in cotton processing in Burkina Faso and on the evolution of traditions and textile techniques that recomposed Mossi society. His work is based on an ethnographic survey conducted between 2015 and 2018 in Burkina Faso.

The text

Laura Fortin is laureate of the 2016 Ariane Deluz Award.
Citing this document: 
Laura Fortin, La trame d’une anthropologie textile. Soixante-quinze ans d’évolution de l’artisanat textile féminin au Burkina Faso (1912 – 1987), FMSH-WP-2019-141, mars 2019.
Mis à jour le
21 March 2019