New Dawn Associates

A unique opportunity to interact with a forward-looking Pygmy community

Dancing pots

The Dancing Pots experience offers the visitor a unique opportunity to learn about and interact with this settled and forward-looking Batwa community. The excursion starts with an introductory presentation that explains the historical and cultural background, and prepares the visitor for the interaction with the community. After the short drive to Kanama, you are welcomed by vibrantly drumming and dancing men, excitingly waving and smiling children as well as beautifully clothed singing young ladies. They are keen and excited to portray their passionately performed artistic skills that made them famous. Dancing, singing and making pottery as part of their traditional lives still rate high in the Abatigayubuke community, so that the pride they feel during their performances is visible, experiential and infectious from the very first moment upon arrival in the village.

After this warm welcome, you proceed to sitting facilities in the main kiln house where a presentation of the community’s unique pottery skills follows. Pottery belongs to the community’s daily activities. They are lucky to have found a secure clay source some 2km away from the village, enabling them to produce a range of products, including traditional stoves, flower vases and small decorative animals.

As part of the visit, some of the cooperative members will demonstrate their pottery skills while others continue to provide a musical and artistic accompaniment. The demonstration features the mixing of clay and water, the actual forming of the products and the burning of pottery in the traditional kiln. An opportunity to purchase some of the products as souvenirs is also available. At the end of the stay, your host and interested locals of neighboring communities engage in a traditional get-together party called ‘ubusabane’. This is a very important part of the excursion because it offers unique opportunities for interaction and cross-cultural exchange. Over lemonade and corn on the cob, guests and hosts come closer to each other, communicate and frequently dance together.

Some Batwa now make a living with their traditional skills as potters and performing artists, but many others merely survive as beggars. In a half-day excursion from Gisenyi, experience the Batwa’s hospitality by learning about their pottery skills Tour itineraries and prices


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