Religious expression in senegalese weavers' work

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2 Scopus citations


Using ethnographic interviews with weavers in Thiès, Senegal, this article argues that artists make processes of weaving practices of their faith. Weavers discursively associate their work with their personal faith and with socially circulated tenets of Sufism and indigenous systems of belief. I focus on a tacitly expressed analogy that weavers make between their work and faith: the divinely inspired knowledge needed for personal spiritual transformation, and the technical knowledge needed for artistic innovation. Because weavers adapt their work to new techniques and styles, the ways they express their beliefs through their work also varies and develops. I use pragmatics, or the relationship between beliefs and the ways people implement them, as a framework to explore how weavers express their faith through techniques and imagery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-223
Number of pages18
JournalMaterial Religion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Art
  • Religion
  • Senegal
  • Sufism
  • Weaving
  • West Africa


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