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Amadou, The woodcarver from Mali | Obakki

The Woodcarver from Mali

Amadou carves using hands guided by traditions.

EXPLOITATION OF BLACKWOOD

In Mali, Africa, the locals are being exploited...and so are their Blackwood forests.

Every bowl is carved and finished entirely by hand, making each one a unique and functional work of art.

Taking up to four days to complete, these bowls represent everything we love about slow design. From the Dogon tribe in Mali, Amadou has been mastering the art of carving traditional wooden bowls and spoons since he was 8 years old. Passed down from generation to generation, the technique is taught by father to son, pushing the artisanal legacy forward with each creation.

PEOPLE LIKE AMADOU ARE LOSING THEIR LIVELIHOOD

Today, Mali’s forests continue to be leased and sold to foreign logging companies. Amadou can only make a living by picking up the scraps they leave for locals, the pieces they consider “unsuitable” for their high-end mass production furniture. Some branches are too small for them to bother with, some have white markings on the black wood—a stunning mark which you will see in Amadou’s remarkable pieces.
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