This limited edition black hobo bag was handmade in Louisiana by Carol Ridenour, who launched her textile company, Phoebe Rose, after retiring from her career as a medical doctor.
Carol and our founder Susan are both collectors. Antique buttons are Susan's first passion, but she also collaborates with Carol in hunting for beautiful and alluring fabrics, both vintage and culturally traditional. Susan recently happened across a vendor from the West African country of Mali at a Texas antique fair and picked up a selection of mudcloth fabrics for Carol to use to create this extraordinary limited-edition bag.
Mudcloth is a traditional Malian fabric with a long history stretching back to 12th-century West Africa. Men were the conventional mudcloth makers, weaving thin strips of plain fabric and stitching them together into squares. Women then dyed the cloth in baths of leaves and branches and let it dry in the sun. The final step is painting patterns and symbols on the bag with aged and fermented river mud.
These patterns and symbols conveyed complex meanings, often passed down from mother to daughter. Some standard patterns had accepted symbolic meanings. For instance, a twirl meant life, while a concentric circle represented the world.
Carol has lined this bag with a bright Dia de Los Muertos cotton lining and chose a simple brown wooden toggle button for a closure.
In this piece:
Black, handmade African mudcloth
Cotton printed fabric
Zippered interior pocket
The bag size is 15" W x 14" H with a 15" strap
Your bag will be one of only 3 in the world.
This special piece doesn’t qualify for free shipping.