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The artworks in the photo were purchased in Butare - Rwanda - when I was working there as an educational advisor for the vocational schools in the Southern province. In Butare I founded an athletics club for young people.

During the genocide (1994) this art form fell into disrepair, but now this art has a new heyday, which is important to generate extra income for the women.

The murals are made with cow dung to obtain the relief effect. The colors are black, white, brown, pearl gray and beige yellow. All colors are matte, except for the black, which is glossy. The earth-based colors are obtained by simply crushing the mineral and mixing it with water.

Creating the black color is more complex. First, some leaves are cut from a plant from the region, a kind of Aloe, the Igikakarubamba plant.

The juice is collected in banana leaves. The orange juice is mixed with cow urine and stored in a jar. After three days it turns black.

The artworks are constructed using specific motifs. These are always geometric or they form curved lines. The signs also have their own character and meaning, and often represent values and sayings from their culture.

The woven Tutsi baskets, material raffia, are sold everywhere and supplement the household budget.

Household industry

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