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Photographer's Note

I dedicate this photo (and two workshops) to Kasia (kasianowak), who wants so much to go to Mali, a country which unfortunately for the time being is a rather unsafe place to visit.

These photos were taken in 1982, when times were different and Mali was a very safe country. I spent a month there, traveling quite extensively, without one single unpleasant incident. People I met were generally very friendly and helpful.

Mopti, where these photos were taken, is a major hub for local trade at the confluence of the Niger and Bani rivers. All kinds of activities were constantly going on along the river banks. It was a paradise for photographers interested in daily life.

Lots of people I saw in this part of Mali belonged to the large ethnic group of Fulani, also known as Fula or in French as Peule. The Fulani are estimated to number about 20 million, more than half of them still living as nomads. They are found in many countries, mainly in West Africa. Most of them are easily recognized by their indigo tattoos around their lips.

One workshop shows a Fulani woman wearing magnificent earrings, in the other two women are seen largely from behind.

Here is a larger version of the main photo.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9525 W: 508 N: 18538] (82222)
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