Iganyana Arts

Iganyana Arts and Crafts

‘Creating for Conservation’ – A Painted Dog Conservation Initiative

Painted Dog Conservation initiated this community development project in 2003, beginning on a small scale, by identifying, encouraging and training the talent in the area to create art and crafts for the national and international markets.

The primary goal of the programme is to bring immediate financial benefit to those artisans whose work proved to be of high quality. A secondary but equally important goal is the teaching of conservation through the sustainable use of natural resources in the selection of products and the materials used to make them. A third benefit is to educate foreign tourists as well as the local residents about the precarious status of the painted dog in Africa, and more specifically in Zimbabwe.

In 2004 the project secured the long-term use of a building in Dete, on the border of Hwange National Park. The building was quickly scrubbed, painted, repaired and decorated, turning it into a clean, bright, attractive facility housing both the crafts work and the administration for the Arts Centre. At this time, the official name of IGANYANA ARTS was adopted. (Iganyana is the Ndebele word for Painted Dog). Quickly the Arts Centre was in full production. Materials used are approximately 70% recycled.

The Centre has become a bustling place where people spend their days flexing their artistic muscles. The aim is for the project to become self-sustaining and be administered by locals.

Artisans, both adults and youth, are provided with materials and equipment, a place to work and training where needed. They are paid per piece for work that passes quality control inspection. Many of the people are now developing their own unique signature style as well as their own product designs.

Snare Wire Sculpture

To further educate the world about the destruction of wildlife, and particularly the insidious use of wire snares in illegal poaching, Painted Dog Conservation has contracted local artists to create sculpture made from the torturous wire removed from the bush by the project’s Anti-Poaching Units.

These wonderful and unique creations are shipped to Europe and the USA with the proceeds from their sale being used to raise awareness as well as funds to further support the project’s anti-poaching efforts.

They can be bought in the UK only through PDC UK. For further information, please email us.