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Bronze sculpture business flourishes in Burkina Faso

Bronze sculpture business flourishes in Burkina Faso

This is culture

Bronze sculptures stand out among the many handicrafts in Burkina Faso.

From the melting of the metal to the finished product, everything is carefully done.

The craftsmen say some works need to be moulded two or three times depending on the thickness.

The making of sculptures with bronze begins with the recovery of bees wax. They are moulded with clay and covered with bronze. The bronze is melted and later allowed to get cool before the craftsmen get involve in the finishing process.

The process takes place at the national crafts centre in Ouagadougou. Although the high temperatures might not be favorable to tourists, few are able to resist and go home with sweet memories.

“I will like an object that represents a bell. People request objects from me. For instance, a woman requested a statute. My nieces want animals made with bronze. We are customers of the objects,” a customer said.

Burkina Faso’s government has been doing renovation works in the centre in a bid to encourage those interested in local crafts.

“It is procedure aimed at helping the artists and the state. We discovered that institutions like the presidency, the prime minister’s office are not decorated with the works of our artists. It is unacceptable,” Souleymane Palenfo, Director of plastic arts in Burkina Faso said.

Craft activity in Burkina Faso is either done individually or at the family level. Their main preoccupation for now, is the ability of its craftsmen to take control of the international market.

Crafts products represent less than one percent of Burkina Faso’s total exports.