The literal translation of Bogolanfini is „mud-on-cloth painting„. An often recurring geometric pattern which at first sight looks as if it has been transferred by means of a stencil, actually involves a long and arduous process which is performed by Bamana women. For this „mud-on-cloth painting“ the Bamana like to use repetitive geometrical patterns. The Bogolanfini cloths in the Arithmeum Collection feature three different basic geometric motifs combined in irregular repetition. These variations surprise the viewer, who is led to expect a totally regular repetitive pattern on account of the clear frames and divisions. These elaborately decorated cloths have always played an important role in the ritual dances of the Bamana, and continue to do so today. Some of these cloths are soaked in magical substances and are then made into clothes for the masked dancers which will protect them from evil influences. Today the Bamana people live in the Beledugu region of the West-African country of Mali, somewhat north of the capital Bamako.