SPLA : Portal to cultural diversity
Cultures-Uganda

Paul Bukenya Katamirra

  • Paul Bukenya Katamirra
Fine artist, Producer, Market organizer
Column : Fine arts, Heritage
Uganda

Born 1960, Paul Katamiira has been a farmer since the age of twenty. He started making backcloth at the age of fourteen; the skill has been in his family for the past 150 years and was introduced by his great grandmother, Nakirijja. Katamiira explains: 'the art and trade is a legacy passed on through my family lineage; making backcloth was passed on to me by my father'.
 
Nakirijja taught the craft to her son, Bukenya's grandfather; Tanansi Nserikomawa, who passed the art of making onto Bukenya's father and uncles. With a home workshop and and over eighty ficus trees, whose barks regenerate and are harvested every year, the family represents one of the biggest backcloth producers in Masaka town.
 
Bukenya has taught his son the trade and has over thirty apprentices; and with a resurgence of backcloth for both cultural occasions and fashion houses in Uganda, his art seems to be growing.
 
For four year he has worked with Bukomansimbi Organic tree farmers association, under visual artist Fred Mutebi, to increase productivity and quality, and to educate and conserve the cultures that are linked to the fabric.
 

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