The Imigongo is unique art pieces very popular among the native people and the travelers on Rwanda Safaris and tours. These unique works of art are generated from the cow dung and are purely of the Rwandan making.
The history of the Imigongo art dates far back to the 18th Century when Prince Kakira utilised the cow dung to decorate the inside walls of his house by mixing it with clay and ash for colour. The subsequent art form took on the name Kakira–Imigongo – the Prince’s domain.
In the contemporary times, the Imigongo artwork has moved from the traditional walls to the paintings on portable panels of wood, wall hangings and plates which are so famous among the Rwanda Safari undertakers that take it as souvenir. These magical paintings are comprised of vibrant colors that are gathered from natural materials such as rusty red got from the natural soil, mustard yellow, white from white clay or kaolin and black from the banana peel ashes.
The Imigongo had died out in the 1990s following the tragic Rwandan genocide that left everything at standstill including the lives of over 800,000 people but after some time, the cooperatives especially in the eastern province have revived it and it is now thriving. It is actually being championed by women most of which are widows due to genocide.
Art enthusiasts including those on Gorilla Safari in Rwanda interested in gaining an experiential touch of this legendary feature can connect to Nyakarambi in Kirehe district to the east of Kigali – Rwanda’s main capital. The Kakira-Imigongo cooperative named after the Prince who pioneered this type of art also offer a close tour to the city.
The Nyakarimbi Village is close to Rwanda wildlife safari destination of Akagera National Park and the famous Russumo falls thus can be encountered as part of the wider circuit.