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Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe Paperback – December 1, 2002


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Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe + Ndebele Beadwork: African Artistry (Crafts of the World)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; New edition (December 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500283877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500283875
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 10.9 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By zugzwang on December 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I saw this book at the home of an artist friend once. These portraits of East African women and their exquisitely painted homes are rare gems indeed. What I also appreciate about this work is that photographer Margaret Courtney-Clarke lavishes such attention and respect to the other cultural aspects of these beautiful people that she could be labeled a sociologist as well.
The publisher, Rizzoli, sows an appropriately generous amount of quality into this book; even the paper is noticeably superior.
My only question is, when will this magnificent work be made available again? I've had it on order at several stores for well over a year now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathy M. Mcwilliams on November 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. The pictures are beautiful and the text is very interesting. I is also great to tie in to teaching geometry for flips, slids, turns, etc. My class made their own art for our geometry unit. It filled a wall, they loved it, and learned more then they would have otherwise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Boris Donescu on September 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This thick coffee table sized hardback book is worth every penny ! It has great photographs of the VERY colorful houses that the tribe in South Africa decorates with their traditional and creative geometric motifs and patterns. I would love to travel there just to see their homes in person and to converse with the artists, most of whom are women and most of whom do not consider themselves to be artists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fiona Margaret Barber on September 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Margaret Courtney-Clarke's sensitive, passionate photographic depiction of the Ndebele women's art is to be applauded. To read the words, written during Apartheid - gosh it brings back the bad times. To think that this art has been lost to us saddens me greatly. Perhaps it hasn't. I recommend this book highly - for the historian, the artist and the lover of life, customs and respect.
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