Djenné is a town and an urban commune in the Inland Niger Delta region of central Mali. The town is the administrative centre of the Djenné Cercle, one of the eight subdivisions of the Mopti Region.
The town is famous for its distinctive adobe architecture, most notably the Great Mosque which was built in 1907 on the site of an earlier mosque. To the south of the town is Djenné-Djeno, the site of one of the oldest known towns in sub-Saharan Africa. Djenné together with Djenné-Djeno were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.
Each year, an imam announces the date between late April and early May when the entire population of Djenné gathers to apply fresh mud to the city’s historic Great Mosque. The mud is prepared in pits with young boys helping to stir it by playing in it. Women and girls bring water to the men as they carry and carefully apply the mud to the mosque. Afterwards, all of Djenné celebrates with a gigantic feast filled with dancing and drumming.
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