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Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe

Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe

by Margaret Courtney-Clarke (Photographer), David Goldblatt (Foreword by)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This handsome photographic essay on the decorative arts of Ndebele women displays their ceremonial beadwork and the remarkable geometric designs they paint on their huts, outbuildings, walls, gateways, windows and interiors. Driven from their homes by the SouthAfrican government, several hundred thousand Ndebele people have been forced to resettle in a crowded, unproductive ``homeland,'' KwaNdebele, in northeastern Transvaal where, despite all that has been done to them, the talented women of the tribe continue to practice their art with vigor, flair and skill, now using acrylic paints, plastic cloths and other high-tech materials instead of the traditional earths, skins and organic dyes. Some of the photos show structures that were subsequently destroyed. (July 2)
Library Journal
The bold, colorful, geometric painted walls of the Ndebele of South Africa are a women's art through which wives, mothers, and daughters exhibit their creativity, identity, and skill. Women paint their homesteads in patterns and designs composed completely freehand. Their personal dress and adornment reiterate this Ndebele aesthetic, all of which photojournalist Courtney-Clarke captures so remarkably. Her photographs, introduced by a brief essay, cover homesteads, techniques, motifs, interiors, etc. Each artist is identified; each homestead located. Recent photographs in the KwaNdebele (government-designated homeland) reveal murals that perpetuate in form and spirit a traditional art form. Nothing in South Africa today is devoid of political overtonesnot even a book such as this one which stands as poignant witness to an art that thrives in spite of tremendous dislocations, forced removals, and hardship. Highly recommended. Janet L. Stanley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, D.C.

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11.42(w) x 11.42(h) x (d)

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