Rob van Doeselaar
It often happens that a baobab is at the center of a village, where the elderly like to sit in the shadow of the tree. A baobab can be very old, sometimes more than a thousand years. Some call them the upside down tree because it looks like their roots stick out of the ground.
The baobab is a sacred tree, common in the Sahel region and other parts of Africa. Many people believe that a baobab is home to spirits of ancesters. The fruit of the tree, called monkey bread, contains seeds, which can be eaten or made into a drink. The leaves could be dried and used as a medicine for skin infections and joint complaints. People also use other parts of the baobab as fuel or building material.
In Mali I painted a lot of baobabs with the characteristic thick trunk. My last exhibition in Bamako looked like a baobab forest.

Bamako 2005-2009