Living Cultures

Magicians of Woodcraft

2009Ep1252 mins

In the remote forests of Madagascar, Jean-Marie teaches his sons Solo and jean to carve a trunk of rosewood with an ax, so perfectly it looks like magic. The two young boys will build a traditional house like their ancestors did, following the advices of the elders. There is no known equivalent to the Zafimaniry wood crafting skills. Not a single nail is used in the construction of the villagers’ homes. Each piece of wood is carved with symbolic patterns that express a social order and the relationships among the villagers. The Zafimaniry wood crafting knowledge of Madagascar has been proclaimed a Masterpiece of Human Heritage by Unesco, which plans to safeguard this tradition that has been passed down orally from generation to generation for centuries.

Video Language: English