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Textile Home Designs using African Impressions
A JOURNEY THROUGH AFRICAN DESIGN
The best impression of Africa is colour, vibrant colour, full of passion and flamboyant expression. Materials gathered from the land, plants, dyes, paint and mud. Crafted naturally and carefully by hand spun then woven - by men, women and children eager to learn the craft. The colours and designs speak languages that send messages across deserts rolled up or worn in cloth.
The textiles of Africa include Raffia, the original textile from the Congo, The Royal Kente textiles of the Ashanti, West African Mali Bogolan mud-cloth, Ceremonial Aso Oke fabric of the Yoruba and African wax-printed fabrics known in Southern Africa as Sheshwe, from the sound the fabric makes when you walk. Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele & Swazi will add beadwork as well as their traditional tribal designs.
HEARTS AND SOULS OF THE AFRICAN PEOPLE
This is where we will start - with African designs and colour. We will learn about the people who craft them and what they mean. Once you have the textiles and the colours that appeal to you, then, only, will you be able to put your theme together and start designing.
We will dig into the hearts and souls of the African people and feel their passion, their love of colour, and by understanding and respecting their ancient crafts. These crafts, their spiritual secrets, symbols, colours and images have stories to tell that are handed down generation afeter generation by the trible Go-Go's (grandmothers)
ZULU AND XHOSA BEADWORK WILL ADD SPARKLE
Impressions from the Zulu and Xhosa traditional fabrics, blankets and the beadwork will add a sparkle of colour and passion to their tribal designs.
Used in decore designs for the modern home, the aesthetic sophistication of the African people will immediately bring a room alive with tribal spirituality and depth that no other nation of people can give, African colours and textiles that were once admired and used by the Pharaohs of the first dynasty of ancient Egypt can now be enjoyed by everyone.
These textiles, and colour impressions can be used for blankets, throws, cushion covers, runners and wall hangings as well as carpets and curtains.
THE ZULU OR COASTAL NGUNI - (KWAZULU NATAL)
This Zulu speaking Nguni tribe is identified today as 'ZULU' and they live mainly in Natal and Zululand. The Natal Zulu dresses a little differently to the Zulu of Zululand - now known as KWAZULU NATAL
Beautiful colour - beads - braid - stripes and embroidery make up these arrangements of designs, symbols and spritual stories. Beadwork is the trademark of the Zulu women, along with the African wax printed cloth known as Shweshwe after the sound it makes when you walk.
Zulu men are known for their bravery and fierce determination against odds when fighting the English military invasion of Natal and Zululand.
THE XHOSA - OR SOUTHERN NGUNI PEOPLE (EASTERN CAPE)
The Xhosa live in Southern Africa, an area known as The Eastern Cape Frontier, The Transki (birth place of Nelson Mandela) and the Ciskei. This area is now known as the EASTERN CAPE
Woven black or white cotton cloth or blanket edged with blue beads and encrusted with pearl buttons. The pearl buttons became a part of the Xhosa designs soon after the white settlers arrived. The buttons, in those early days, were stolen or traded from the settlers then added to cloth along with the beads, colourful braid, bright coloured plastic and bits of fur.
Bright engineered stripes on blanket wraps send a special message during the time of initiation into manhood for boys.
The Xhosa ceromonial or gala dress colour is white. A white Mfengu blanket trimmed with coloured beads, pearl buttons and coloured pieces of plastic is used to wrap around a nursing mother. Both mother and the breast fed baby will have whitened faces.
THE NDEBELE OR NGUNI OF THE TRANSVAAL (MPUMALANGA, LIMPOPO & GAUTENG)
The Ndebele or Nguni of the Transvaal are closely related to their neighbours the Sotho who have also adopted this name. The Northern (Black Ndebele) have discarded the Nguni identity in favour of traditional Sotho as far as the Northern borders of the transvaal and Botswana. This area is now known as MPUMALANGA, LIMPOPO and GAUTENG
LOST CITY & SUN CITY AFRICAN DESIGN INDULGENCE
My recent visit to Sun City & the Lost City in Gauteng blew me away with the display of true African design extravagance and indulgence. If anyone has the oppurtunity to walk through these magnificent places you will not be disappointed. Your creative juices will flow with the full African experience in colour, design and the overwheming desire to re-create the images and feeling under your own roof - on a lesser scale of course.
The African experience in full - I hope you enjoy my snap shots.
SOTHO - (LESOTHO)
The hallmark of the Sotho people is totemism. Each clan has a specific totem, it could be animal, plant or mineral. The Kwena, people of the crocodile or the Kgatla, people of the monkey. In the old days the people of a certain totem would not kill or eat that animal or plant.
The men are skilled in weaving straw baskets and hats. Large blanket wraps in destinctive designs are worn by both men and women. The women fasten their blankets at the front and the men fasten them on their left shoulder.
SWAZI / TSONGA IMPRESSIONS - (SWAZILAND)
The Swazi are a tribe are from Swaziland and their tekela dalect is very similar to Zulu.
A grouip of Nguni settled in their present home in the nineteenth centuary, subjugating the local Sotho and incorporating them into the Swazi nation.
The Swazi people have their own King with many Princes - each with his own palace.
MORE IMAGES & IMPRESSIONS OF AFRICA
AFRICAN UPDATES TO FOLLOW
Thank you for looking at my hub - I hope that you have been inspired and enjoy using these design impressions.
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