The Matobo District in the Matabeleland South province of Zimbabwe is conspicuously known for its colorful, eye-catching and intricate designs on huts.
What makes these beautiful designs extra amazing is that it is based off the handiwork of very talented women who use just charcoal, ash, water and soil to bring some life and color to their homes and surroundings.
According to Design Indaba, the murals are done annually after the harvest season. Though the rains usually fade away the murals each year, it also actually affords the women the luxury of trying out new designs and layouts for the huts.
With limited tools at their disposal, the women transform both the exterior and interior of their homes and surroundings with awe-inspiring designs that are worthy of being compared to contemporary ones.
Besides the paintings, the women take it a step further with the overall layout and aesthetics of their homes. From the furniture or shelves in the kitchen to the pleasing arrangement of kitchenware to blend with the designs, attention is paid to detail.
A remarkable tourist attraction, the age-old tradition, however, risks going extinct as the preference of brick houses to those made of mud increases.
In this regard and in an attempt to “preserve indigenous Zimbabwean cultural traditions and knowledge,” the Amagugu International Heritage Centre was set up in the district to encourage the women to continue painting and also award them through competition, Design Indaba reports.
“Throughout, we met strong, independent women, often running single parent households and on the flip side, men who were evidently proud and supportive of their wives and their work and often, when news travelled that our car had been spotted in the area, waited on the side of the road and waved us down, urging us to come and look at their wives’ handiwork,” an organizer said.
“If nothing else, this competition, we realised, has given women stature, and recognised and rewarded their role in the homestead and beyond.”
Take a look at more photos of the incredible works of art below: