Cow-dung paintings:Rwanda’s cultural activity

Back in the 80’s while I was in Uganda, I visited my aunt who was married to a wealthy man who owned 1000 cows.
Rwandan traditional decorated hut.(Net photo)
Rwandan traditional decorated hut.(Net photo)

Back in the 80’s while I was in Uganda, I visited my aunt who was married to a wealthy man who owned 1000 cows.

Cows have a very strong attachment to the Rwandan culture. A number of reasons account for the importance and among them, we have cow-dung painting.

Towards every important occasion or ceremony like Christmas, every house was painted in black and white twirling colours.

Sand or ashes mixed with cow dung and painted walls. One middle important oval hut called Uruhimbi was given the best painting. This kind of painting can be still traced in Rwanda today.

When you walk around Kigali city’s art and craft stores, you will find many art pieces with black and white colours in different versions; circular, rectangular and square.

Cow dung paintings remain one of the most liked art pieces, though much of it can only be traced in rural areas.

In the village of Nyakarambi near the Rusumo boarder of Rwanda and Tanzania, houses display unique black- brown and white spirals and other geometric formations.

A number of wide range traditional handicrafts are also produced in rural Rwanda.

These range from ceramics and basketry to traditional wood carvings and contemporary paintings.

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