Basirice Uwanmariya , a genocide survivor is one of the Rwandan women upholding the traditional culture by creating artworks from cow dung called Imigongo.
Born in Nyakarambi, Rwanda, Basirice’s love for the ancient art developed at a young age after watching her mother make it. She practically grew up with the technique and started making her own pieces at a young age.
In 1994, as a result of the genocide that happened following the death of the then Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana which lead to the untimely death of her family. She fled with her husband and unborn child but later returned in 1997 and took it upon herself to revive the imigongo culture.
After the death of her husband, the 46-year old, together gathered a group of widows and together they formed the Kakira Imigongo Cooperative, dedicated solely to creating this artworks.
The imigongo is made from a clay like dung substances,these women creates a pattern on a board and then trace these patterns with the clay-like cow dung. Once dry, they are painted with different types of colors made from natural materials like black ash.
These exquisite artworks has gained international recognition and is displayed in countries around the world like France and New York.
Well Done Basirice Uwanmariya! We Celebrate You!