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Women of Mali (for Kasia)

Women of Mali (for Kasia)
Photo Information
Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9637 W: 511 N: 18713] (82868)
Genre: People
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1982-02
Categories: Daily Life
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2015-12-07 7:58
Viewed: 5337
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 102
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I dedicate this photo (and two workshops) to Kasia (kasianowak), who wants so much to go to Mali, a country which unfortunately for the time being is a rather unsafe place to visit.

These photos were taken in 1982, when times were different and Mali was a very safe country. I spent a month there, traveling quite extensively, without one single unpleasant incident. People I met were generally very friendly and helpful.

Mopti, where these photos were taken, is a major hub for local trade at the confluence of the Niger and Bani rivers. All kinds of activities were constantly going on along the river banks. It was a paradise for photographers interested in daily life.

Lots of people I saw in this part of Mali belonged to the large ethnic group of Fulani, also known as Fula or in French as Peule. The Fulani are estimated to number about 20 million, more than half of them still living as nomads. They are found in many countries, mainly in West Africa. Most of them are easily recognized by their indigo tattoos around their lips.

One workshop shows a Fulani woman wearing magnificent earrings, in the other two women are seen largely from behind.

Here is a larger version of the main photo.

ikeharel, rychem, cornejo, gildasjan, ourania, williewhistler, daddo, Royaldevon, papagolf21, jhm, kasianowak, saxo042, PaulVDV, ChrisJ, Vasa, GyurMaster, adramad, ricardomattos, tyro, CLODO, marabu61, bukitgolfb301, Tigerlily, danos, adores, PiotrF, delpeoples, annjackman, Gigidusud, COSTANTINO, Periko, mcmtanyel has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To BennyV: cropholmertz 1 2015-12-07 10:13
To kasianowak: sorryholmertz 2 2015-12-08 11:53
To PaulVDV: hard timeholmertz 1 2015-12-08 01:30
To GyurMaster: formatholmertz 2 2015-12-10 11:35
To unclehotshot: povholmertz 1 2015-12-11 03:45
To tyro: maiduguriholmertz 1 2015-12-11 03:47
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • rychem Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4188 W: 0 N: 9929] (67735)
  • [2015-12-07 8:56]

A very good scanned photo, that's right, it is an unsafe place and your photo is a document of old times, today it would be a picture of war, very well captured
thanks for sharing

Hej Gert

The simple magic of everyday Mali. A terrific shot from a wonderful country. Yet another country which is no longer safe to visit, unfortunately. Such a shame. We visited the country in 2002, and it was one of our best journeys ever.

Good enough scan quality, excellent focus on the beautifully dressed woman up front. I like the crop, especially at the top.

Greetings & tfs.


Yet another beautiful picture from the past, Gert, I mean before the digital era.
Daily-life scene and good human approach to give gesture for this working woman and her child.
Red/brown checkered dress gave exquisite tones to the whole.
Good evening,

Gert Hello, very nice picture of this interesting scene of daily life, well composed and captured in this interesting image with good sharpness, light, color and quality. A great job well done, congratulations my friend. Thank you for sharing this interesting work.

Good evening and happy start to the week.
All the best from southern Spain.

Hi Gert
Fascinating portrait and your control over depth of field is superb to place the lady is such sharpness in the scene . I like the various colours which are subtle but striking, especially the green of her earrings . Great photo

Bonsoir Gert
Une bonne netteté sélective pour cette image bien composée dans le carré avec la netteté sur sur le sujet principal.Très bon rendu chaud des couleurs.
Bonne soirée

Dobro vece.
Interesantan i dobar tekst ...
Dobar rad sa lepom fotografijom u radionici, lepo pokazano, dobra ostrina i kontrast, lepe boje.
Prijatno vece i sve najbolje u novoj nedelji koja je pocela sa lepim secanjem na 1982.

Good evening.
Interesting and good text ...
Good work with beautiful photography workshop, nicely shown, good sharpness and contrast, beautiful colors.
Good evening and all the best for the new week which started with a nice remembrance of the in 1982.

Hello Gert,
the three photos of this group are superb, the simple daily life scenes are so valuable now that things have changed so much in Mali (and the whole world for that matter.) The action and the details are so intersting, life wasn't easy but it must have had more certainties and must also have been fun in these clothes (which I always love to observe in pictures.) Your spontaneous captures seem to express the essence of those scenes, the colours are vivid and delightful. It's great to go back in time and visit this place through your pictures. I hope that things will get better sometime soon so that Kasia may visit safely too. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great evening,

Hello Gert,
the three pictures combine to illustrate a very different time,how lucky we are that you were in the right place at the right time to be able to record them.
Whilst the quality of the pictures may not be the highest their overall appeal with bright vibrant colours and interesting details is overwhelming.
Warm regards Les.

  • Great 
  • daddo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3581 W: 114 N: 6351] (28698)
  • [2015-12-07 14:12]

Hi Gert. Kasia is not the only one wanting to see Mali. I had it in my sights for a long time and as you say, it is not safe now and the way things are going, it will not be in our lifetime. I love the nonchalant yet elegant way the women wear their attire, especially the headscarfs. I love their music, especially the kora and the griot sound. Senegal is the other country which ha fired my imagination. You were fortunate to see these places when you did and your Fulani images from the past are now of anthropological and cultural import. Great trio of images-ian envious. Best wishes. Klaudio.

Ciao Gert
bella serie di foto, queste donne hanno abiti molto colorati e si accingono a lavori giornalieri che, come dici tu, attirano molto gli amanti della fotografia.
Peccato che la stupidità umana faccia di tutto per danneggiare la libera fratellanza tra i popoli....

Hi Gert,
I was only a yer old when you took this picture. A genuine travel document, well observed.


  • Great 
  • Fis2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11508 W: 163 N: 19349] (141918)
  • [2015-12-07 23:54]

Witaj Gert!
Very impressive your archive!
I like this daily life shot.
Good framing and colors.
Photo has climate.
Have a nice day

Hello Gert,

Your photographs reinforce my impressions of native African peoples, that they dress in the most beautiful, colourful robes. All your photographs deliver bright, colourful patterns, associated with clothing.
This is a stunner of a shot!
Shallow dof reveals the close relationship between mother and child, details the scope of their possessions and sets the scene in a workday environment.
In fact, I really like all the photographs. What a record of a country so peaceful. This explains the importance of photography!

Have a lovely day,
Bev :-)

Hello Gert! Wonderful woman, amazing child. Superb scene. Good high POV. Good cut. Marvelous colours. Excellent shot from 1982. Great effect. Regards!

  • Great 
  • Nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 15451 W: 0 N: 16877] (187758)
  • [2015-12-08 1:48]


Fantastique scène et vue quelle dame et son enfant avec la boucle d'oreille du nez et ces habits tout colorés et porte ce sceau et l'enfant qui porte sur sa tête cette bouteille superbe image et ensemble fantastique vue.
Bravo et amitié

Hi Gert
Well framed and candidly grabbed giving a flavour of the locale showing genuine activity of the woman. The surroundings connect them together although I find the background is too 'busy' and has somehow distracted viewer from main interest. Well done.
Best regards

Bonjour, cher ami Gert,
Vous êtes un très bon reporter, et j'apprécie vos réalisations.
Ici, encore, vous nous plongez dans un monde particulier fort bien présenté.
Très bonne note d'accompagnement également.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 26146 W: 523 N: 44753] (190777)
  • [2015-12-08 4:40]

Hello Gert,

Mali indeed a very dangerous country also today, I have a friend that works in Mali in the port.
Your picture is a daily life picture, that maybe once must be viewed through our youth!
Also your both WS picture make your photo job completely
Sharpness and clarity are perfect.
The diverse colours make your picture attractive.
An excellent composition, lovely presentation too.
Very well done, TFS.

Best regards,

Hello Gert

Nice colourful, daily life scene. It's amazing how the yellow canister is staying on the child's head given the angle of tilt! I can just about balance a hat on my head!

Nice reportage and interesting, informative note too.

Thanks and have a good day in Stockholm.



Hi Gert
Firstly, I feel so honoured by your dedication! I wanted to comment yesterday but I couldn't log in to TE for some reason.
I really like this daily life scene, mixture of traditional and modern (the plastic bottle on the boy's head). In spite of their hard life, the people wear these beautifully crafted and colourful traditional clothes nicely captured in the main upload and the WS photos.
You really made me want to go there now...
I wouldn't worry about the quality of the second workshop image - just write "this fashionable high key feel". ;-)
Thank you and very best wishes

Hej Gert,
Alla bilderna är ju lika bra med starka och övertygande färger. Dessutom intressanta i dokumentär mening med likaledes intressant text.

Ciao Gert, nice scene, lovely daily life composition with beautiful couple, fine details, splendid light, excellent clarity and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Gert
Une photo scanner de très bonne qualité, bon rendu des couleurs, des détails, belle scène de vie
belle soirée

Hello Gert,
Wonderful earrings (picture in the WS) and wonderfully coloured dresses of these ladies!
Excellent, very attractive and well detailed daily life-pictures!
I don't think it would be a good idea to visit this country nowadays although I met travelers who have been there in the 90-s and who also had a pretty hard time then (and not because of religious extremists).
Best regards, Paul

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13428 W: 125 N: 24018] (120539)
  • [2015-12-08 13:15]

Hi Gert,magnificent trio of memories from your archive,3 pics dedicate to the women in different clothes and situations,always at work.An interesting historic post from a place very dangerous to visit now.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • emka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11574 W: 123 N: 29426] (138720)
  • [2015-12-08 13:51]

Hi Gert, You can easily go now to Bagan, I for sure will not go to Mali. I wouldn't mind uncomfortable trip, heat and dust, or not good eating, but safety is for me important. And I would like so much to see these mud mosques and the everyday life scenes like this. There are places that I COULD go in Africa, but somehow I am afraid. So with great interest I looks at your archive photos. Fantastic all three pictures, with so many unusual details. Of course, the colourful dresses are very attractive, the earring, from gold or just gold plated are really magnificent, and also interesting these black tattoo around lips. Here interesting what this little girl have on her head. But one thing seems to me familiar - what the woman has in her hands. it seems to me that I remember similar from my childhood. And these Fulani are quite a big population, almost as many as all Australians(24 mln).

Vi ses snart!


  • Great 
  • ChrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 15624 W: 1055 N: 32615] (151748)
  • [2015-12-08 15:07]

Hi Gert

Good use of a shallow dof in this superb daily life scene of the colorfully attired African woman. Her nose ring and earrings jewellry add interest and the child at right makes a good secondary focal point. Tfs!

  • Great 
  • Vasa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2208 W: 0 N: 95] (515)
  • [2015-12-08 16:13]

The child is a big girl today, and lady has a rest after a hard life.

Your photo Gert is interesting by its subject and diteils. I imagine your emotion in front of your large collection of souvenirs.

Many thanks for sharing.


Dear Gert,

Another nice genre from the past. Colours and composition are nice. You portray the daily life of those people excellently. The only thing I thinking about is the format: why did you chose it over the standard 3:2?

Best Regards,

It is unfortunate that the condition in Mali is deteriorating, I feel sorry for those people. Nice capture, from peaceful time of the country, of a hard working woman trying to support her family. I like her colorful dress. Good lighting and crisp details for a scan. Well done, tfs.

Hello Gert.
A fantastic cast of characters, both with this picture, as those that accompany the WS.
Great portrait of this woman with the bowl, full of objects, their colorful dress that gives a good color effect, calls our attention the little kid wearing that curious object head.
Sharpness, lighting, color, and the magnificent composition; all factors are perfectly made, in this beautiful image.
Well done. I like a lot.
You have a good day.
Best wishes.

Beautiful details and sharpness. I like your note too.



Godmorgen Gert.
Jeg synes vældig godt om billeder af denne kategori. Kvinden med zinkbaljen er meget karakteristisk og hendes kjole er et stort positiv for billedet. Det ser ud til at hun har den specielle tatovering rundt om munden. Og jeg mener at huske at et hvidt tørklæde betyder at hun er gift. Eller husker jeg helt galt??Pigen med den beskidte plastikdunk er også en god feature; der kommer dynamik og en anelse om et lurende trafiksammenstød mellem de 2 kvinder om 1 sekund. Den lidt høje ppov er rigtig god. Fra ladet på en lastbil eller en bus?
Mht. billedet af beboelsesejendommen som du så, så deletede jeg det fordi jeg var utilfreds med skarpheden.
bedste hilsner og god weekend.

  • Great 
  • tyro Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1926 W: 427 N: 7229] (29024)
  • [2015-12-11 2:40]
  • [+]

Hello Gert,

A very fine trio of photographs an a very interesting note to accompany them. I can quite understand your warnings to Kasia against visiting this place nowadays as the situation here appears a lot more uncertain and dangerous than it was thirty three years ago when you took these pictures. In fact, one place I have always wanted to visit is Maiduguri in Nigeria, a place where my father was stationed for eighteen months during WWII as a RAF wireless operator and he told me many tales of how peaceful and friendly the place was, how wonderful and kind were the people and what great times he had in Maiduguri which, at that time, was but a small village: but now it is a huge city which in recent times has been subject to unrest and violence and I suspect would not now be a place for the unwary to visit.

But three lovely and colourful photographs of the hard working ladies of Mali, all immaculately, colourfully and cleanly turned out despite their poverty and very basic living conditions. And, despite what you say about the image quality of one of these pictures, I believe they are a real tribute to your photographic and scanning skills as well as your real interest in people - as well as to the quality of (I presume) Kodachrome slide film.


Kind Regards,


  • Great 
  • CLODO Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2854 W: 1386 N: 3435] (42307)
  • [2015-12-11 3:15]

Hello Gert

Colored oldie, with the lady settling on a new area her kitchen stuff, helped by her daughter transporting on her head a plastic bottle.

Hej Gert
All the magic of Africa caught in one simply street scene. This photo epitomizes all that is Africa in a nutshell. The lady in her colorful robe, the child with the old plastic container on its head, the tin container with all the brick a back and finally the man in the back in his woolen cap repairing a boat, it is all there.
Superb scene indeed.
hejdå och trevlig helg

Hi Gert
now thats what I call a set of ear rings! wow.
the lady here in your main post has it tamed down a bit.

easy to see why though, so many TE members have been enjoyting this one. How many people can say they've been to Mali, how many people can say they've interacted with these cultural locals - not many, especaily compared to all the people traveling to Western Europe and such.

too bad we can't easily visit Mali in the present day, perhaps some other time.

wonderful shot of this little family.
and I take it the child is holding a container?

nice shot

Hi dear Gert

Great thier vdaily life shot, this is your signitured posting at all. Very boild and vivid cloth is quite suitable with her in the best cropping framework.

All the best and have a good day! Takero

Morning Gert,
A wonderfully captured image, lovely color and dresses,beautiful colour. I'm always fascinated by people's capability to carry thing on their head,... your image told me something more about it..:-)
Keep well, wishing you a Very Merry Christmas.

  • Great 
  • danos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13701 W: 295 N: 27478] (110395)
  • [2015-12-14 7:15]

Hello Gert,
nice the view of this old but very effective photo from Mali.Really in our days is very dangerous to visit someone the country because of the civil war.Excellent the snapshot with the young woman with her child to carries some of goods for their living.


  • Great 
  • adores Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5732 W: 64 N: 11349] (46979)
  • [2015-12-14 8:28]

Hi Gert!
I still remember when it was safe to visit this country, I should have decided to do it then. It's a good daily scene, life is never easy in these countries. I like the scene and the colourful clothes. The bottle is probably carrying water, still today they are very precious, for kids and adults. I remember they always wanted our empty water bottles because they reuse them for several different things.

  • Great 
  • PiotrF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4781 W: 2 N: 8709] (41922)
  • [2015-12-15 16:21]

Hello Gert,
Great portrait of a woman with a child, an interesting scene from daily life.The composition is very nice, great colors and details.Thank you for the detailed notes.
Good work.

Ciao Gert

How sad that Mali is unsafe these days and how lucky you were to be able to see it. The photo is so vibrant, vivid and dynamic. The colours jump out of the frame at me. I love the graphism and the excellent skintones. Wonderful work and an equally superb note.

Warmest wishes

Hello Gert
Very nice photos rich of colors and details.
An very interesting and dynamic scene.
Kind regards

Hello Gert,
The quality of this photo is very good and, until I read your note, I thought that it might have been more recently taken. Vibrant colours and a lovely glimpse of life in Mali in 1982. What a pity yet another country is unsafe to visit.
Kind Regards, Ann

Hello Gert,
A scene from everyday life which again shows us how life just being rude in some countries. A beautiful capture with nice colors.
Best wishes!

Hello dear Gert and have a nice time
as always I love visiting your gallery
finding new photos with traditional treasure
here we have an impressive photo with the
lady dressed in traditional clothes
your notes are really useful that lots
of people belonged to the large
ethnic group of Fulani

  • Great 
  • Periko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 749 W: 131 N: 1192] (8081)
  • [2016-01-14 21:17]

Hi Gert
High quality photo, despite being so old.
This is an outstanding frozen daily life moment, a second in the history of this country.
A great work, as usual.


  • Great 
  • jmdias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11334 W: 174 N: 20716] (91352)
  • [2016-06-07 6:59]


impressive this view of daily life of local people with a touch of portrait. excellent light and sharpness from this view of the past.things move fast: in the 80's it was madness to visit colombia and peru, now it is safe..



Hello Gert,
How does that child balance that huge bottle on her head? Indeed, I like the colorful attire of the women in these photos. However, I would not go so far as to call those earrings magnificent. They are great, I'll give you that - in size, that is!

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