Buildings become canvases in this beautiful African village

Buildings become canvases in this beautiful African village

In the West African country of Burkina Faso, the isolated Kassena village of Tiébélé has an extraordinary cultural tradition. The mud brick structures that make up the royalty compound are covered with patterned paintings and carvings. This geometric branding is how the royalty distinguishes its buildings from others in the village.

Captured by photographer Rita Willaert, the buildings are embellished using natural clay paints to show both pictographs as well as linear patterns. The wall paintings are completed by the women of the village, and the custom dates back to the sixteenth century AD. The longstanding tradition even includes protecting the artistry with a natural varnish made from the African locus bean tree.

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