Neo-Sudanic Architecture
1. "Senegal-Soudan. Ruins of the Mosque at Djenné." This postcard dates from the early twentieth century, and the photograph may be from the 1890s.
2. "Bamako (Niger [now Mali]). The area surrounding the market." This postcard of the central market in Bamako dates from the around the time of the market's construction in 1923. The building burned to the ground in the early 1990s.
3. The central mosque in San, a town between Segu and Djenné, was built in 1941.

4. The side of the San mosque.
5. A neighborhood mosque in San. Although architectural historians, photographers, and other visitors tend to emphasize the importance of the central mosque, younger sibling to that in Djenné, the town of San has many beautiful mosques in its popular quarters. This mosque dates from the post-colonial period (after 1960), and it was constructed with cinder blocks covered in plaster.
6. A close-up of the neighborhood mosque reveals the ostrich eggs which crown it. This photograph also demonstrates that the objects projecting from it play quite a different function than do those in the central mosque.
7. Another neighborhood mosque in San. At the end of the rainy season, much of the plaster has been washed away, exposing the bricks beneath it. Some of these have also been damaged by the rain. Note that the protruding objects are present only on the façade which faces the street and towards the east.
8. Hotel de Ville, Segu. This building is a fine example of the combination of an Arabesque and a Sudanic style. Judging by its location, it was originally part of the administrative complex of the Office du Niger, a large-scale regional irrigation project begun by the French in the 1920s. The building now houses the municipal offices of the city of Segu.
9. Another view of the Hotel de Ville, Segu.
10. An example of the soaring 'arabesque' combined with a Djenné house style in the Office du Niger complex, Segu. This building also dates from the 1920s.
11. This cityscape of Bamako, Mali's capital, was taken near the end of the rainy season, thus the hills behind the capital are green. The tall building is the offices of the BCEAO, the Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Central Bank of the West African States).
12. The tower of the BCEAO. Note the variegated façades and the 'horns' which crown it. The BCEAO sits on the banks of the Niger. Around its walled compound are a fish market, a beach on which boats are pulled ashore, and a station for long-distance taxis and trucks. It is interesting to compare it to the old Bamako market building pictured above.
13. Bamako's Air Afrique building neighbors the BCEAO tower and is a second important project in the establishment of an explicitly 'modern' and post-colonial vernacular.
14. Another mosque in the neo-Sudanic style. This dis-used mosque is not in San, or even in West Africa, but on the French Mediterranean. It is a relic of a time when thousands of West African soldiers of the French colonial army were garrisoned here. During the 1920s, this mosque was built to accommodate the Muslims among them. It was made of a reddish concrete in order to mimic the reddish adobe of the Djenné mosque, and it also exhibits the protruding objects which characterize the neo-Sudanic style.
15. A close-up of the French mosque illustrates the Arabesque doorway and the interior arcade.

Additional Resources:

ArtsEdNet - The Great Mosque Djenné, Mali

Malian architecture