Prayer Niches (Mihrab)
The wall marking the direction of Mecca is the mosque's qibla wall. The prayer niche built at the mid-point of that wall is called the mihrab, generally located in the mosque's interior prayer hall. John Archer generally photographed the exteriors of Mali's mosques, and his collection does not include images of the mihrabs of the mosques he photographed. The image to the left is a prayer niche built on the east wall of the Djingareyber mosque's exterior courtyard or sahn, and it is not clear if it served as a mihrab for worshippers who remained outside of the prayer hall. The entryways on either side of the niche lead into the prayer hall itself.