Ndebele house paintings

The Creators Project gets exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the cross-country U.S. tour of renowned South African artist Esther Mahlangu. As she travels through New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, D.C. and Atlanta, we get insight into the craft, skill, matrilineal tradition, innovation, and inspiration behind her larger body of work, as well as the original pieces she created for this (Belvedere)RED campaign, raising money for the Global Fund to fight and eliminate the transmission of HIV/AIDS.

In the 18th century the Ndzundza Ndebele people of South Africa created their own tradition and style of house painting. Until the late 1900s, the Ndebele people were very fierce warriors and large landowners. In the autumn of 1883, they went to war with the neighboring Boer workers. The loss of the war brought on a harsh life and horrible punishments for the Ndebele. Through those hard times expressive symbols were generated by the suffering people expressing their grief. These symbols were the beginning of the African art known as Ndebele house paintings.

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