Part of the Project
Nnema is the latest range by Senegalese shoe brand Nio Far. Created by young local designer Milcos Badji, the sneakers are all handmade with traditional mudcloth. As well as being ultra trendy, the patterns in the material tell their own particular tales.
Each symbol and shape in the mudcloth tells a story and reveals a certain secret. Social status, character and the history of a community can be revealed by the patterns in the fabric. African proverbs are stitched into the patterns too, and people are still careful about the colours they choose to wear because of the meanings.
A comb-like shape represents the bones of snake and is a sign of bravery, or a pattern that symbolises the belt of a warrior also means courage and the wearer shows the world he is fearless. Circles represent family and community, which zigzagging triangles indicating the elbow of the iguana symbolise good fortune.