Stone Bracelet Production in Mali

Anne Garin Carmagnani1 and Yvan Pailler2

1. University Paul Valery, Montpellier III. Email:
2. Post-doctoral researcher with CNRS, projet JADE, Agence Nationale de la Recherche. Email

Cite this as: Garin Carmagnani, A. and Pailler, Y. 2009 Stone Bracelet Production in Mali, Internet Archaeology 26.


In order to understand the manufacture of stone bangles in Neolithic France, we visited the Hombori region of Mali, to study the last surviving generation of makers of stone bangles there. From our field observations and from many interviews with various artisans, we obtained a considerable amount of information about a tradition of manufacture that has, until recently, been largely unknown. The details gathered cover every stage of the manufacturing process, from the way in which outcrops of the raw material are selected, to the manner in which the calcareous stone is worked in the manufacture of the bracelets. We documented the various phases involved in the chaîne opératoire and the ways in which the finished products are dispersed from their place of manufacture. Much still remains to be discovered, notably about the past history of bangle manufacture in Hombori, and the ways in which the finished bracelets were perceived by the people who acquired and used them. Nevertheless, we have been able to develop models that help us to understand the societies in post-Linearbandkeramik Europe that adopted the practice of wearing stone bracelets.

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