Destination Kivu Belt

Traditional Rwandan Pottery Workshop at Kiguri

Activity description

At Kiguri Pottery, visitors are welcome to join in the process of traditional pottery making. The Rwandan Traditional Pottery Workshop at Kiguri takes around 2 hours and gives a full insight into the tradition of pottery making in Rwanda. This includes an insight into the history and gives a deeper understanding of the importance of pottery tradition to some Rwandan communities. The cooperative of pottery makers in Rwanda has a long history and the members will give you a full insight of the founding of the pottery cooperative in Kiguri and its importance to the community.

After the initial introduction, the Kiguri Pottery Experience starts with a welcome of traditional songs and dances. As a visitor, you are welcome to join in but those who rather relax, and watch can do so.

After the introductory singing and dancing, your guide will explain how the clay is traditionally made. The clay used for pottery is not bought in a store in Rwanda, but rather dug from the ground and mixed to the right consistency.

After the clay is dug and prepared it is time to start crafting. Your guide will show you several techniques used for making crafts out of clay. Together with other members of the cooperative, you are welcome to craft your own clay items using traditional clay and methods.

After you have crafted you clay items, the members of the cooperative will show you how the clay items are dried and burned. As this is also done using traditional methods, you are sure to learn something new.

At the end of the experience you are welcome to bring home your own crafted clay item.

About the organizer

Situated on the Congo Nile Trail just outside Rubavu, the Kiguri Pottery Association comprises of 10 families, who are primarily farmers. Pottery is their heritage and ancestral activity, and this motivated them to share their experience with visitors interested to learn. The association offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn how Rwandans make their own household materials using clay. You can participate in mixing clay, sand and water and make a handmade craft of your choice. This creative experience is family friendly with children able to participate and enjoy.

The original way of living through hunting and gathering in the rainforests of Central Africa started to make way to farming hundreds of years ago. In modern Rwanda, this way of living has completely disappeared as the last remaining forests are now protected as the homes of the endangered highland gorilla and the eastern chimpanzee. Some of the traditions of the semi-nomadic people who inhabited the original rainforests are not completely lost. Traditional pottery in Rwanda is one way in which these traditions are being upheld. Rwandan pottery is also very special and beautiful and still made in the traditional way.

Kiguri Pottery is a cooperative of pottery makers in Rubavu. The cooperative welcomes to take part in making of pottery. They are also very happy to show you around and tell you about their traditions and how the cooperative and the activities benefit the members.

Kiguri Pottery is located just outside of Rubavu, along the Congo Nile Trail, but can also be reached by car or moto-taxi after a short ride from Rubavu town.

welcome to bring home your own clay craft. 

Before you Go

  • You might spend some time in the sun, wear a hat and sunscreen
  • Bring your own water
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