Smithsonian Exhibit Spotlights Mud Masons of Mali

Wednesday, Sep 4, 2013  |  Updated 6:05 AM EDT
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Smithsonian Exhibit Spotlights Mud Masons of Mali

Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Natural History Museum

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The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History has a new exhibit exploring the ancient African architectural tradition of mud masonry in Mali.

The yearlong exhibit "Mud Masons of Mali'' opened Saturday. It includes more than 50 photographs as well as films, objects and tools.

The exhibit offers a visual tour through the city of Djenne (Jen-ay), which has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988. The city is home to the Great Mosque, which was built in 1907 and remains one of the largest mud brick buildings in the world. Each year, mud masons re-plaster the Great Mosque.

The exhibit also examines the political and environmental challenges in preserving historic mud masonry and the skills and training involved in such architecture.

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