[Photo: Mrs Kayè Tintana in front of her decorated home, in the Royal Court of Tiébélé, Burkina Faso photo © 2016 Cuomo Foundation]
One of the oldest members of the community of the Royal Court of Tiébélé has been honoured and designated a ‘Living Human Treasure’ by the Ministry of Culture, Arts & Tourism of Burkina Faso.
Originally created by UNESCO in 1993 the ‘Living Human Treasures ‘ programme aims at encouraging Member States to grant official recognition to talented tradition bearers and practitioners, thus contributing to the transmission of their knowledge and skills to the younger generations.
Mrs Kaye Tintana is a highly respected and well known practitioner of the ancient artform of ‘Kassena’ hand painted murals which decorate the circular group of mud huts that comprise the Royal court of Tiébélé—a Unesco recognised world heritage site situated in south-eastern Burkina Faso. Tiébélé has been the royal seat and home of the ancient Kassena tribe since the 15th century. It is one of the most expressive instances of centuries-old decorative mural artwork and the Cuomo Foundation has been supporting and maintaining the historic site since 2014.
In an official government ceremony on the 14th December,2021 and held at the Royal court of Tiébélé ,Mrs Kaye Tintana was awarded the title of ‘Living Human Treasure’. The Cuomo Foundations operational partner in the region is the Dizenidani Association and its president Mr Abatidan Nassara attended the ceremony – here is the official news item as reported in the Nahouri News website…
“A mission of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism headed by Mrs. Kaboré of the General Department of Cultural Heritage was in the province of Nahouri, this December 14, 2021. Objective: to pay tribute to the Living Human Treasures of the province.
Kayè TINTANA or Mama Kayè as she is affectionately called by her entourage is one of the rare women in the field of wall decoration in Tiébélé. Married in the royal court of Tiébélé, she says that she learnt this work of decoration when she was fifteen years old, from the women of her native village, especially from her mother. She was made a Living Human Treasure of Burkina Faso along with 16 other people with skilled hands in their respective fields. Moreover, in the province of Nahouri, there are two monuments of art to deserve this distinction. They are Zoubiré Sia, the chief of Guian in the commune of Zécco, who works in the field of handicrafts, and Kayè Tintana in the field of pictorial art. To pay tribute to him her, a mission led by Mrs. Kaboré of the General Department of Cultural Heritage planted a panel in his her name on December 14 at the royal court of Tiébélé. It was with indescribable joy that the inhabitants of the court welcomed this mark of recognition to their mother.
“Mama Kayè”, eighty-one years old, is the oldest of the women trainers who annually train young schoolgirls in the framework of the “Dora” competition in wall decoration organised by the Dizenidani association and financially supported by the CUOMO FOUNDATION, a reliable and faithful partner in this activity. Today, her know-how is taught to the young generation in the field of pictorial art. Thanks to her ancestral knowledge, Kayè Tintana has been able to travel, accompanied by other women from her school, to several countries in the world, notably China, France, Belgium, Algeria, the Ivory Coast, etc. Not to mention her many trips to the interior of the country to export Kassena-nankana culture. Today, under the weight of age, the “dora” specialist is confident that the next generation will be assured thanks to her teachings.”
Abatidan Nassara, Tiébélé
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