Women play vital role in decorating house in Siby village. /Photo: Nicolas Reméné/Bogo Ja.

By Kudra Maliro

Located 50 km south of the Malian capital Bamako, the village of Siby is known for its beautifully coloured houses. Regular painting of houses is a tradition in the village.

But Soumaila Camara, 42, gave the tradition a boost. In 2014 he initiated an annual festival to promote it and attract tourists. This has been growing since then.

"After the harvests, our parents embellish and paint our houses and villages to welcome the newborns but also to celebrate weddings which are often done during the hot weather prior to the rainy season," Soumaila Camara tells TRT Afrika.

The house painting is a tradition in Siby. Photo: Nicolas Reméné/Bogo Ja

Siby village has 28,000 inhabitants. Women play a great role in the construction and beautification of buildings.

"Embellishment is a task for women. They are the ones who make the decorations, the drawings and other mixtures of colours," says Mr. Camara.

Young people are also part of the painting tradition. Photo: Nicolas Reméné/Bogo Ja

Women using brushstrokes paint houses in different colours every year during the festivities. They are mainly clay houses.

Apart from naming ceremonies and weddings, Soumaila Camara says that circumcision rituals for young boys in the village are done after the village decorations.

The annual decorations change the look of the village. Photo: Nicolas Reméné/Bogo Ja

"Since 2014, several tourists have begun to take an interest in our village. We are in the process of creating an orientation centre called Siby Tourism to sell the positive image of our village" Mr. Soumaila adds.

And to motivate the residents of the village of Siby to continue with this tradition, gifts including clothes, hoes and other objects are given to women who do the best decorations.

The festival attracts from from within and outside the village. Photo: Nicolas Reméné/Bogo Ja

"Our festival highlights the African woman and shows the essential role she plays in the African family", concludes Mr. Camara.

TRT Afrika