Gambia Cotton – Made By Ousman.

Gambia Cotton weaver Ousman Sambou was born on the 10th January 1981 in Thies, Senegal.

A modern man, he is father to one son, Omar Sambou, who is named after Ousman’s father. His Mother is Jainaba Sarr and she was a farmer. Ousman tells us ” my father was the best weaver in our region”. He says with pride that, “customers would come from all over Senegal to buy from only him”. At an early age, he watched and learned from his dad when he was weaving. He taught him how to make and set the traditional handloom and weave. (As pictured below right).

Gambia Cotton | setting up the loom
©Yusupha Sama | workshop with Bjorg Thorhallsdottir
Gambia cotton | Hours of work
©Yusupha Sama | painstaking attention to detail

Following in his Fathers Footsteps!

Ousman left Senegal in 2002, a year after his father passed away and joined his uncle in The Gambia. His uncle, also a weaver was then working at Tanji Village Museum and became his mentor until 2017 when his uncle left The Gambia to pursue a career in Sweden.

Footsteps is proud to have its very own cotton weaver.

A short time later Ousman meets Linda Verasdal ( my partner ) and started working with her producing high quality hand made Gambian cotton products. A lucky break for Ousman and even more so for Footsteps because to have a weaver of his calibre working from our lodge is so interesting for our guests.

Ousman holds regular workshops on Gambia Cotton weaving and our guests can even try their hand at weaving themselves.

Colourful Scarves
©Yusupha Sama | such vibrant colours
Gambia artwork
©Yusupha Sama | everyone wants his work

Ousman has a protege.

As well as producing cotton products for linda he also has a young trainee weaver to mentor. Her name is Nyanka. He is such a good teacher and in just a few short months Nyanka has begun weaving her own cotton.

cotton trail production
This loom came all the way from Norway
Cotton
The finished product
Nyanka weaving
Trainee cotton weaver | Nyanka
Watch Ousman’s skill using this hand-made loom

If you will like to learn more about the amazing work Ousman, Nyanka and Linda are doing at The Gambia Cotton Trail you can follow on Facebook or visit Linda’s website

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