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Page history last edited by Barbara Allen 15 years, 10 months ago

´╗┐The Ndebele people are known for painting their houses with strong geometric designs in bright colors with the color sections separated by black lines. Even though the patterns are geometric, the designs are always drawn freehand.



African Ceremonies, Volume 2, pp 134, 135


Name Ndebele, Matabele 
Location Transvaal (South Africa), Zimbabwe

1,500,000 in Zimbabwe (Matabele)

800,000 in South Africa (Ndebele) 

Language Ndebele
Type of Culture Agricultural
Timeline From 1630 with the rule of King Mafana to present

First identifiable chief was Mafana and the tribe was located in KwaZulu-Natal. Mafana's grandson Musi was the last chief to rule over an undivided tribe, moved north of Pretoria, South Africa.  Musi's sons divided the tribe into the Manala and Ndzundza and the Ndzundza went East and South from Pretoria. The members of the tribe who had remained in KwaZulu-Natal were lead by Mzilikazi, a lieutenant of Shaka Zulu. In 1823, Mzilikazi split with Shaka and moved his people north of Pretoria, where they were repeatedly attacked by Zulu, Griqua, Kora, and Boers.  In 1837, Mzilikazi moved the tribe north again to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe where they came to be know as Matabele

Current status Mostly integrated into modern society. Tribal wear is reserved for ritual occasions, particularly relating girls and boys initiation rituals. Initiation schools in Zimbabwe and South Africa for important for many African cultures. There are some famous Ndebele artists. Ordinary Ndebele express themselves artistically by painting their houses in distintive, colorful, geometric patterns and creating the ritual garments.
Artwork most prevalent Beadwork, house painting.
Artwork's distinguishing characteristics Geometric designs, primary and secondary colors, shapes outlined in black, lots of white. Common colors are gold, yellow, blue, red.  
Traditional foods Cornmeal mush, peanuts, beans, squash, meat and game




http://pages.towson.edu/gsarhang/African%20Art-Short%20II.doc (fractals and Ndebele designs)

http://www.foodbycountry.com/Spain-to-Zimbabwe-Cumulative-Index/Zimbabwe.html (Traditional foods)




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