This blog will showcase the people, places, and organizations involved in the preservation and use of Ugandan bark cloth. Read about highlights from past projects, upcoming initiatives,and anything of bark cloth interest.
June 27, 2012
Olubugo Reloaded: The Push Towards a New Awareness
The Start Journal of Arts and Culture is an online publication based out of Uganda. The editor, Thomas Bjornskau and his team of talented Ugandan artists, highlight the ever evolving arts scene throughout Uganda and East Africa. Each month brings a glimpse into the engaging and powerful works created by dancers, visual artists, musicians, writers, and more. In the April edition, I wrote about an exhibition at FAS FAS Gallery titled Olubugo Reloaded. Take a look at the link below the hear my interview with Ronex Ahimbisbwe, the exhibition organizer.
A sister (or brother) to Ugandan bark cloth is tapa, produced from mulberry trees all along the equator. I was recently visiting Hawaii and found an opportunity to learn a bit more about the cloth and see the technique and elements used to make the tapa. North, along the Kamehameha Highway near the Kalewa Bay Beach Park is a small road side market that sells arts and crafts from Tonga. The proprietor was a generous woman who allowed me to see the trees, the tools and shared her knowledge with me. This bark cloth from Tonga is routinely decorated with sharp decorated shapes, repetitive and geometric. After leaving this market, we drove along the highway to the Polynesian Cultural Center. There, we found a display of traditional objects from Hawaii and surrounding Polynesian islands, including Tonga. The tapa that was displayed was of exceptional quality and reflected the excellence found in this craft.