In the heart of the lush Rwandan countryside lies the village of Bigogwe, where tradition is woven into the fabric of daily life. Here, amidst rolling hills and vibrant greenery, a unique practice called "Gukaniza urukana" has been passed down through generations, preserving the essence of community and simplicity.

Every morning, as the sun's golden rays kiss the horizon, the village comes alive with the rhythmic sounds of nature and the bustling energy of its people. In the quiet corners of each homestead, families prepare for the day ahead, a day filled with the age-old ritual of collecting milk from the farm.

Central to this ritual is the humble "urukano" – a small, intricately crafted wooden tool designed to carry the precious cargo of milk cans. Made with care and precision by skilled artisans, the urukano embodies the essence of tradition, its smooth curves and sturdy frame a testament to the ingenuity of the villagers.

As the morning dew glistens on the emerald leaves, families set out on their journey to the farm, the urukano held firmly in their grasp. With each step, they traverse the winding paths that lead through verdant fields and gentle streams, their laughter mingling with the symphony of nature.

Arriving at the farm, they are greeted by the gentle lowing of cows and the sweet scent of freshly cut grass. With practiced hands, they carefully fill the inkongoro – wooden milk cans adorned with intricate patterns – with the warm, creamy liquid that sustains their livelihoods.

With the inkongoro securely nestled within the urukano, the journey homeward begins. Along the way, villagers exchange stories and share laughter, their spirits buoyed by the camaraderie of community and the satisfaction of a day's work well done.

As they approach the village, the sun begins its descent, casting a warm, golden glow over the landscape. With weary but contented smiles, families arrive home, the inkongoro brimming with milk and the urukano a symbol of their connection to the land and to each other.

In the tranquil embrace of evening, the village settles into a quiet rhythm, the echoes of the day's activities fading into the stillness of the night. And as the stars twinkle overhead, the legacy of "Gukaniza urukana" lives on, a timeless reminder of the beauty of tradition and the simple joys of rural life

Ngabo Karegeya . 2024-05-04