Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe by Margaret Courtney-Clark
For generations, the women of the South African Ndebele tribe have produced a rich, living art. They continue to do so today, conjuring up on the walls of their houses a world of spontaneous forms with intricate beadwork and wall painting. Their dynamic compositions and blazing colors show a bold graphic quality that makes them appear stunningly fresh and modern.
Margaret Courtney-Clarke spent five years visiting the Ndebele and recording their art. Her work on this book began long before the political upheavals following the end of apartheid and the coming to power of the black majority in South Africa. The Ndebele from the southern Transvaal, whose art is documented here, were violently displaced and forcibly resettled in the newly created KwaNdebele homeland. During her later visits Courtney-Clarke discovered that more and more of her favorite paintings had decayed or disappeared after the family had either moved away or been forcibly resettled. The result in several cases is that her photographs are the only surviving documents of some of the most impressive of Ndebele artworks.
These photographs bear witness to a people who, despite unspeakable suffering, have continued to decorate their surroundings with breathtaking brilliance and passion. 191 color photographs.
Author Biography: Margaret Courtney-Clarke was brought up in Namibia. She has a worldwide reputation for her work as a photojournalist and for her painstaking but inspirational documentation of the art and architecture of Africa. Her other publications include African Canvas.