The Lambas Women © AAD

In Makwacha, as in most rural areas, traditional cultural practices have been relatively preserved due to the geographic isolation of these communities. They keep alive the ideas that have been passed down for generations, as we can see with the Lambas women and their tradition of using the walls of their huts as visual aids for a community narrative.

At the beginning of every dry season, the Lambas women begin to paint the walls of their houses using natural pigments. The temporary images, washed away once the rainy season arrives, tell the stories of that year, therefore creating new works of art each year. The women paint for days to create the imagery, beginning by first covering the walls with a white coating. Then, they grind dirt and stones collected from around the vicinity, mixing the powder with water. The resulting substance sticks well to the walls and is able to endure the dry months. For color, a variety of plants are used, their juices extracted to produce the pigment.

When all of this has been prepared, the women begin to work, using only their hands. And this continues year after year after year.

History with AAD