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hippo swallowed a little girl

Item date(s): 2009

Ina le Roux  - (Project Leader)
Sani Mudau  - (embroidered by)
Florah Kwinda  - (embroidered by)
Mashudu Nenzhelele  - (embroidered by)
Emmah Vhengani  - (embroidered by)
Violet Manngwe  - (embroidered by)
Eni Nenzhelele  - (embroidered by)
Heleni Mukhwevho  - (embroidered by)

Medium: Fabric
Pages: unpaged (14p)
Size: various
Technique: Embroidery
Edition: Unique

Theme(s): Venda; Folktale

Place publication: (Limpopo Valley, RSA)
Publisher: Tambani Project

Reference note:
14 embroidered panels from an old Venda folktale, 'A hippo Swallowed a little girl', with digital animation by Christiaan van der Westhuizen, project in collaboration with Jaco Kruger.

The Tambani community project ( based in the villages of Fholovhodwe and Muswodi-Tshisimani. These villages are located in the Limpopo Valley, about 50 km east of Musina, about 750 km north east from Potchefstroom, South Africa. The founder and chief director of the project, Dr. Ina le Roux of Johannesburg, is a retired lecturer in English and Dutch, whose Ph.D. in Religious Studies is about the worldview of the song stories (ngano) of Venda women. The tight financial and social conditions in which these rural women live persuaded Ina to start an embroidery project which currently has some 65 women members and which helps support their families. Although most women earn no more than about R300 per month, this meager income helps to keep the worst hunger away. Ina sketch scenes from the stories she recorded on pieces of black cloth, after which the members of the project embroider these scenes. The cloths are then made up at Ina's house by her assistant Alice (from of Venda) into items such as handbags and wall hangings. They are then marketed with the relevant stories. Proceeds from the sale of the articles are used to fund the project.

Embroidery, metal frames

Exhibition notes:
Included on the exhibition 'Transgressions and Boundaries of the Page', exhibited at WOORDFEES 2010. Archive Room in JS Gericke Library, University of Stellenbosch, 1st - 6th March 2010; The Gallery of the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, 15th April - 13th May 2010; the FADA Gallery, Faculty of Art Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg, 12th - 30th July 2010.

Ref: DP/10080

Image courtesy Wessie van der Westhuizen NWU

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