Strolling Downtown Amidst the Mud Architects and Mud Cloth
This weekend I decided I really needed a fun day. It’s kind of hard going out on fun days, because I don’t want to do them every weekend—it’s supposed to be fun and not feel like I’m “supposed” to do it.
May’s also probably the only time I will have now to go downtown. Starting in June, Metro Rail (the subway we use to go into downtown DC) will undergo major maintenance that will include shutting down lines.
So it was off to the see the Natural History Museum.
We’ve had rain all week, and the nasty kind of rain, where you can’t see where you’re going. The sky was clear and pretty when I got up, but by the I finished my early morning grocery shopping, clouds crowded in, gray and promising rain. In fact, I debated going or not because I really didn’t want to caught in a downpour.
Ultimately though, I needed to get out and have fun. I took my umbrella and hopped off the Metro down near my quarry. It was a lot of walking, even though I was pretty close—I only needed to cut across the mall, turn right and go down a block. DC is deceptive like that; you never think you walked very far until you realize you walked pretty far.
I picked the Natural History Museum because I wanted to see an exhibit called the Mud Architects of Mali. The Mud Architects practicing an ancient craft of masonry, using the mud of the local area. Doesn’t that sound cool and the perfect thing for a fantasy novel?
That exhibit led me to the African Voices one, which had the Mud Cloth. They are women who make intricate designs on cloth. They take a plain cloth and dye it with mud. The designs have specific meaning—for example, one pattern represented marriage. That’d be cool for a story, too.
The exhibits were interesting, though I wished the curator had done more on them. So when I came back home, I stopped off at the library for three books on Mali–like I already didn’t have enough books to read!
This is from a prompt by the Daily Post, though I handily took a stroll beforehand
Cover preview for Rogue God, due out in June: