To get around the lack of photographs, artists have drawn portraits of religious leaders and the founders of the major Senegalese brotherhoods: the Mourides and Sheik Amadou Bamba, the Tidjanya and El Hadj Malick Sy, etc.

During the colonial period, the French forbade the spreading of the ideas and images of religious leaders who were opposed to French policy. Sheik Ahmadou Bamba (1850-1927) was accused by the colonial administration of disturbing law and order and was deported to Gabon (1895-1902). There is a tradition that he was forbidden to pray on the boat taking him to Gabon but that divine intervention enabled him to perform his religious duty on a carpet held up by angels rolled out on top of the waves.
To get around the lack of photographs, artists have drawn portraits of religious leaders and the founders of the major Senegalese brotherhoods: the Mourides and Sheik Amadou Bamba, the Tidjanya and El Hadj Malick Sy, etc.

During the colonial period, the French forbade the spreading of the ideas and images of religious leaders who were opposed to French policy. Sheik Ahmadou Bamba (1850-1927) was accused by the colonial administration of disturbing law and order and was deported to Gabon (1895-1902). There is a tradition that he was forbidden to pray on the boat taking him to Gabon but that divine intervention enabled him to perform his religious duty on a carpet held up by angels rolled out on top of the waves.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Glass Painting

The Exile of Sheik Ahmadou Bamba Mbacké

Alexis Ngom
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"
c. 1997
© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


There are many hairdressers in Dakar. The true "professionals" who own a salon are very few. Most have only a mirror, a chair, a hair clipper, a comb and a razor. They set up shop on the sidewalks, in the squares or under the shade of trees and post pictures of the various fashionable haircuts they can do along with the applicable rates. These paintings are most often done on wood blocks that can stand up to hard knocks and the weather but sometimes they are painted on glass like glass pictures. These are, apparently, less expensive.
There are many hairdressers in Dakar. The true "professionals" who own a salon are very few. Most have only a mirror, a chair, a hair clipper, a comb and a razor. They set up shop on the sidewalks, in the squares or under the shade of trees and post pictures of the various fashionable haircuts they can do along with the applicable rates. These paintings are most often done on wood blocks that can stand up to hard knocks and the weather but sometimes they are painted on glass like glass pictures. These are, apparently, less expensive.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Glass Painting

Sign: Beauty Salon

Sall
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Some glass pictures serve only as decoration depicting wild or domestic animals, multicoloured birds and flowers. The artist here does not care much about the proportions of the animals.
Some glass pictures serve only as decoration depicting wild or domestic animals, multicoloured birds and flowers. The artist here does not care much about the proportions of the animals.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Glass Painting

The Toucan and the Elephants

Alexis Ngom
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"
c. 1996
© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


It should be remembered that the primary function of this art in Senegal is religious, more especially Islamic, using holy images from the Near East (Noah’s ark, Adam’s fall, the sacrifice of Abraham...).
It should be remembered that the primary function of this art in Senegal is religious, more especially Islamic, using holy images from the Near East (Noah’s ark, Adam’s fall, the sacrifice of Abraham...).

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Glass Painting

Noah's Ark

Diène Djibril Fall
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Copy of the cover page of "The Adventures of Tintin: Destination Moon"

Tourist interest in glass pictures has contributed to thematic shifts and the use of Western and Japanese comic book heroes and non-representational art. This artistic revival using subjects from popular imagery is flourishing today on the streets and sidewalks of Senegal’s cities.
Copy of the cover page of "The Adventures of Tintin: Destination Moon"

Tourist interest in glass pictures has contributed to thematic shifts and the use of Western and Japanese comic book heroes and non-representational art. This artistic revival using subjects from popular imagery is flourishing today on the streets and sidewalks of Senegal’s cities.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Comic Strip

"Tintin, Destination Moon" Comic strip hero.

Vieux Ndiaye
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Mami Wata is a very beautiful female genie with masses of smooth hair. This genie originates in the waters of Nigeria.
Mami Wata is a very beautiful female genie with masses of smooth hair. This genie originates in the waters of Nigeria.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Glass Painting

Mami Wata

Alexis Ngom
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"
c. 1996
© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • describe elements of life in Senegal, with emphasis on societal messages;
  • describe the colours and patterns utilized by glass painting artists and analyze how these artistic elements relate to the purpose of the finished product;
  • describe the role of glass painting in Senegal’s culture.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans