Malian Women Beautify Mud Houses at the Bogo Ja Festival

The Bogo Ja and Bougou Saba Cultural Centre wanted to honour the Malian tradition of beautifying mud houses by creating a painting competition called Bogo Ja Festival in Siby, Mali. Rather than viewing mud homes as archaic in this modern world, the festival aims to encourage and celebrate earthen architecture and a revive the vanishing tradition of beautifying homes in the village.

Traditionally, painting mud homes was led by the women of the Mandé village. Today, every year, for one month, several hundred women participate in the Bogo Ja Art and Architecture Competition for Decorated Houses by painting more than 400 houses. The celebration aims to remind people of the importance of traditions like using earthen architecture, which is often better for the environment.

The result is a breath-taking homage to Malian culture and a completely elevated village. The use of colourful lines and abstract linear paint work are quite the site to behold as the women let their creativity flow. This event is one we would definitely recommend adding to your bucket list if you tend to be struck with the wanderlust bug, as it is a great opportunity to view a modern take on an old African Tradition in Mali.

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