Djenné Mystere Bleu
Strolling through the market outside the Great Mosque of Djenné, Zainab is surrounded by all the noises, scents, and colors….
There’s so much going on that it’s hard to decide what to focus on.Voices speak loudly over one another as customers haggle with vendors and friends catch up with one another. The raw smell of cattle blends and the fresh earthiness of the vegetable and ripe fruits blend in a cacophony of scents. My eyes continue to wander when my attention is captured by someone up ahead. She is outfitted in a patterned dress of bold red, golden yellow, deep blue and crisp white. Her head covering has more pattern in blue, yellow, and orange. Mixing patterns-- she’s speaking my language. And adorning her ears are the largest pair of red and gold hoops I’ve ever seen. Her name is Binta. Inspecting my textile designs, she models a few of them and graciously allows me to photograph her. And then she continues on her way. I’m filled with an uplifting rush of energy at the welcome I’ve received from the community. It’s a blissful feeling, that sense of belonging and being present in all the activity.