Watercolour on Visual 200gsm
From my Africa / Ethnic series.
The Ndebele peoples of Lesotho and South Africa are well-known for the wonderful art that adorns the walls of their homes – the wall paintings of the Ndebele were originally meant to be guideposts to the indigenous persons passing on the road. They announce that “We are Ndebele. Ndebele live here.”
The Ndebele tribe, who belong to the large group of Nguni peoples, in the early 18th Century, originally lived in grass huts, and it wasn’t until they began using mud-walled houses in the mid-18th Century did these symbols begin to be created on their houses and walls. However, in more modern times, bricks are being used to construct the homes, but still with the same beautiful adornments.
The back and side walls of the house were often painted in earth colours and decorated with simple geometric shapes that were shaped with the fingers and outlined in black. The most innovative and complex designs were painted, in the brightest colours, on the front walls of the house. The front wall that enclosed the courtyard in front of the house formed the gateway (izimpunjwana) and was given special care.
Just as colourful as the wall paintings are the clothes and beaded jewellery of the women. They are a reflection of the family’s social status.
17th May 2011 – SOLD 1 Matted print to a Mystery Buyer – thank you!