Workshops in USA

Art in the Pearl

Every Labor Day weekend in early September, you can find Ko-Falen volunteers at “Art in the Pearl”, the largest city-wide celebration of the arts in downtown Portland, at the “Hands-On Art” corner. Every year we work with young and old in a hands-on space where we teach African style “tin toy” making with recycled aluminum. We learned our techniques from our resourceful artist friends in Mali. Snip, twist, wire and assemble your dragonfly, butterfly or flower FREE with us all day long! And learn a little about Mali in the making.

Art in the pearal 1

Art in the pearal 2

Art in the pearl 4art in the pearal 8Mudcloth workshops

Would you like Ko-Falen to lead a Mudcloth Workshop in your community?  Contact us at

Ko-Falen is engaged in Mudcloth Workshops throughout the Portland area.

In 2013, Ko-Falen Founder Baba Wague worked with the elders from Africa House—a branch of IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization) making mudcloth as an avenue of expression for African Immigrant elders learning english.

Africa House 3

Africa House 2

Africa House 1

In 2014, Ko-Falen received a matching grant from RACC to:

1) introduce Buckman Elementary School fifth graders to the geography, history and cultures of Mali through mudcloth.  The mudcloth scarves created were personal stories by students, using mudcloth symbols to represent their character, hopes and dreams as they move into middle school.  The annual Fifth Grade performance will incorporate mudcloth symbols and meanings.  Each student will “receive” their finished mudcloth scarf to wear during Fifth Grade Promotion.

Mudcloths Buckman

Ms Nichenko's

Ms Nichenko's class

Ms Anderson's class

2) work with the textile class at daVinci Middle School to weave, dye, and then paint their mudcloth stories using natural dyes, traditional techniques and symbols.  These mudcloth banners and scarves will be displayed in an exhibition at the end of the school year.