-----Home : Exhibition : Educational Offerings : Artists' Portraits : Bulletin Board : National Tour : Contact

Mame Diarra Bousso is an essential presence in Mouridism. Her name and activities are praised in song and image. No known photograph of her exists, and so her portrait, as in the paintings to the right, is "generic." In a way this is appropriate, though, for she is considered the archetypal mother and wife for Mourides. Mouride women are as devout as men, and wish to live their lives in the saintís presence via his image, as seen in a glass painting by "Afouss" of a woman having her hair braided; but although they are subjects of visual arts, Mouride women rarely produce visual arts. Vocal music is an art in which Mouride women excel, however. Devotional circles gather in the late afternoon to sing songs remembering Mame Diarra Bousso and her son, Amadu Bamba. Mouride women sing more publically as well, and a number of them have achieved great fame locally and internationally. Fatou Guewel Kara is an exceedingly popular Mouride vocalist singing for Senegalese audiences, and cassettes of her songs, often written by her spiritual advisor, are played incessantly. Her image appears in wall murals by Mouride artists like Papisto Boy, as seen in a detail here with two images of the saint informing her songs. A beautiful purple gown worn in concert in Italy that Fatou Guewel has presented to UCLA for Passport to Paradise has appliquéd images of Bamba and Lamp Fall sewn on its two sides. Mouride women such as Yandé Codou Sène, Kiné Lam, and Coumba Gawlo are among Senegalís most famous world music stars. Coumba Gawlo is seen here in another detail from a mural by Papisto Boy, who has changed her demeanor from the vivacious persona of her cassette jackets, to a pensive young woman looking toward the "Door of No Return" of the infamous Slave House of Gorée Island. Half of the curving staircase of the Slave House embraces her in the tragedies of history, but because Coumba Gawlo is known for her joyful songs of love for her saint and God, the image is ultimately one of hope and promise.


--------------Introduction : Rise of Islam : Life of a Saint : Mass Produced Imagery : Mouride Work Ethic
---Devotional Sanctum : Healing Prayers : Architecture : Apostles : Sainted Women : Global Networks : Pilgrimage