Nassouko Coulibaly
Malinke spinner, Ivory Coast


Nassouko Coulibaly, a spinner and crocheter, is a member of the Union of Craft Cooperatives of the North of Cote d'Ivoire (UGAN).

Nassouko started spinning thread at the age of five like most other traditional West Africain hand spinners that live in villages in the Sahel area of Cote d'Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso. Cotton fields can be found all around these small villages. Today she is able to earn more money by using her skills crocheting woven strips together to create tailored garments, sold in the UGAN Craft Center, located in Korhogo, a large city four kilometers away from her village. Some of her garments are exported to France and Switzerland.

In July and August 1998, she was invited to the United States to teach traditional West African spinning techniques to members of the Handweaver's Guild of America and to the public at the National Museum of African Art. She demonstrated the techniques and taught hundreds of enthusiastic students how to use the traditional African spindle, with its bamboo spine and its clay whorl.

Nassouko is a leader among rural women, the first to leave her native village and travel abroad. You can see some of her work in the UGAN catalog, under "clothing".


these pages submitted to africancraft.com by Louise Meyer,
Oct. 1998 -- last updated, Jan. 2002