Continuing Textile Traditions:
Barkcloth of Uganda
For more than 700 years, the legacy cloth, lubugo (barkcloth), made from the mutuba tree (ficus natalensis) has been used to clothe Ugandans, bury the dead and mark sacred ceremonies in Uganda. In 2005, it was designated as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO to be preserved and protected. Today, it is inspiring contemporary artists, designers, scientists, scholars and researchers locally, regionally, continentally and globally. It has an exciting future but faces several challenges, such as deforestation and the passing away of the elderly skilled masters without their children continuing the tradition. The Bukomansimbi Organic Tree Farmers Association (BOFTA) and a global group of collaborators are working together to strengthen Uganda’s barkcloth industry and preserve this tradition for future generations.
From piloting a Tree Adoption Program, to participation in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, to training for younger barkcloth makers, and working with artists and designers to create a system for barkcloth that is traceable to a geo-located tree - join our conversation as our team shares our passion and projects surrounding this unique fabric.
As artists and collaborators, Fred Mutebi and Lesli Robertson have worked together on projects in Uganda and the US since 2008. In 2012, Fred and his brother Stephen Kamya founded BOFTA with the award winning 9th generation barkcloth master Paul Bukenya Katamiira. Today, his sons, including Peter Katamiira, are taking the tradition in new directions with international collaborations and local training programs.
The panel will be moderated by WARP member Judi Jetson, a weaver and a leader in the well-researched promotion of craft, particularly textiles. There will be ample opportunity for questions from those attending this free online event, and a recording of it will be available later on WARP's YouTube channel.
This event is free & open to all. Please complete the registration form to join us on Saturday April 15th, at 11:00 am US Eastern Time.