Mutuba tree, you make me proud to be a Ugandan
Your elegant silver stem protects the
Ancient history of a nation
The traditional harvesting of your inner bark makes
The sacred fabric, bark cloth, that
Defines the spirit of the Buganda Kingdom.
No machines and no weaving
Just simple beating with wooden mallets
Stretching and sun drying
The practice has been around for centuries.
And still defies the modern process of cloth making
In all shades of brown, light and dark
The bark cloth unites us
From Royal attire to street fashion
Normal garments, burial sheets and precious works of art
It defines the identity of the kindred
Mutuba tree, the mother of the bark cloth
You make me proud to be Ugandan
Juliet Lubega (unpublished 2013)
**This is dedicated to my late grandfather who was a bark cloth maker by trade.He planted these trees at our ancestral ground,Bubango Village,Rakai District in Southern Uganda. Jajja we miss your wooden mallets.