Artist: Beauty Ngxongo (South Africa, b. 1952)
Natural and dyed plant fiber
H: 29.0 cm, Diam: 46.0 cm (H: 11.4 in, Diam: 18.1 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase. X2006.8.1
In many parts of Africa the production of baskets for local consumption has expanded through the advent of cooperatives and craft associations that target Western markets. This has also led to the production of basketry forms that are not intended to be utilitarian, even if they are based on functional basketry traditions. Such is the case with the South African Vukani Association founded in the late 1960s by Swedish missionaries. The Zulu word ”Vukani” has been translated as ”wake up and go” and emphasizes personal development and individual initiative within the context of a collaborative educational association that also facilitates distribution of its products. One of the stars that emerged from the Vukani Association is Beauty Ngxongo (b. 1952). Beginning with the techniques and form of the monochrome Zulu beer pot, the artist has developed a rich palette of colors and designs matched with consummate technical execution to distinguish her works as among the most widely admired and sought after in all of South Africa.
African Basketry Arts, Thinking outside the Basket.