Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rwandan Art and Artists

In Rwanda the art of basket weaving is very common for the women in the villages as a source of income. They make several types, one is the Peace Basket.

They carry these baskets with something to give, when they go visit a friend, family member, or neighbor.
When they leave they usually have something that was given to them from whomever they visited. This could be rice, eggs, corn, beans, etc. So the women make these baskets and sell them as every household will have a couple. Their food supply is stored in these baskets. They make them in many sizes and the tourists love them, so it's a good source of income for the village women.
There is also the fruit basket.

Beading from paper is a new and very big source of income for the village women they sell them to tourist in the markets and to vendors that have stalls in the markets.
It's amazing and they look like real beads, they are absolutely beautiful. Different sizes, colors, and designs. The Acholi women from Northern Uganda make these paper beads also.

PEACE baskets and PEACE.............
They come from Patonga a war zone, where their babies and villages have been burned. Their sons kidnapped to be boy soldiers and their daughters to be gang raped by the rebel militias, their ages can be from 5 years and older. The man in charge of these hideous acts of terror is Joseph Kony the leader of the Lord's Resistant Army (LRA). The LRA fought a 20-year war against the government in northern Uganda. Two million people were displaced. He is accused of numerous war crimes, including abducting and mutilating civilians and forcing thousands of children into combat. He has been charged with war crimes against humanity by the Ugandan Military, the Sudan Military, the Congolese Military and the United Nations . He lives in seclusion and is well protected by his soldiers that he drugs and brainwashes. Joseph Kony is one of the most evil men on our planet today and must be stopped, his actions have proven he needs to be locked up for the rest of his life, so he cannot harm another human being.
The two women I met had few teeth from the soldiers knocking them out as they were gang raped and beaten. Their husbands were killed and they are trying to survive. Their realities are our worst nightmares. My problems are nothing compared to theirs. In reality I don't have any problems only blessings. Meeting these women has been a great blessing and honor, because they teach me to be strong, courageous, and persevere. They have been a gift in my life. I only wish I leave them with hope, and they know that someone does care about them, and wants to help them have a better life. I promised I would help these women rebuild their lives, I can't do this alone, so if you can help please email me.

Wood carving is also a big art in Rwanda and other East and Central African countries. The carvers are very good and their are some very old carved African masks, especially in Kenya and the Congo.

Textiles of Rwanda, several different colorful patterns.

Art made from cow dung and dirt made into a clay, it's very soft and fragile. But so beautiful. Usually the colors are black and white, gray, rusty color of the Rwanda earth, and yellow mustard.

1 comment:

Celia Akumu said...

Hi. The prints are so beautiful. Can they be used for other projects?