Lubugo
3 August 2020

The Baganda(the people of the Buganda Kingdom in present-day Uganda) for centuries, have been harvesting from the Mutuba tree(Ficus Natalensis) and producing barkcloth natively known as Lubugo. The process involves peeling the inner bark, after scraping off the outer, and taking it through a rigorous process to end up with the barkcloth.

Since its discovery, the Lubugo has played an integral part in the social and cultural fabric of the Baganda; from initiation attire to burial shrouds. In contemporary Uganda, local and international artisans and designers are utilizing the barkcloth’s versatility to further the practice. As a result, the age-old practice past on from generation to generation is being preserved.

Lubugo is an ongoing project that seeks to document the barkcloth. These current images form part of the harvesting and pounding process. I experiment with layering composites of photographs of the barkcloth to interact with photographs of the process. Subsequently, the past and present are intrinsically interwoven as I engage in archiving this highly respected piece of identity.