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Coffin Maker of Kyenjojo...

We were traveling down Uganda Highway A109 on our way to Kibale National Forest when we passed through the small town of Kyenjojo. The Kyenjojo District was created in 2000 and is divided into two counties, Mwenge North and Mwenge South. Kyenjojo literally means: "The place where Elephants live" and is derived from the Rutooro word "Enjojo" which means "Elephant" in English. During our pass through this small town, this craftsman worked diligently on this beautiful handmade coffin. Before HIV/AIDS, the word “coffin” was rarely spoken in Uganda. Coffins were made by furniture makers far from public view and were considered taboo by most people. In the 1990s when HIV/AIDS became more prevalent, coffin building became a growth industry and business was so good there was competition. Now it has become an art form and Coffins are made with great pride and care. They are stained in various tones and the craftsmanship is evident as the varnish gleams in the afternoon light. They came in sizes from infant to adult and consumers can shop for price and quality at stalls by the side of the road.

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