www.africancraftsmarket.com - (Producers and suppliers of fine African handcrafted
Arts and crafts shipped to the international market)
& PEOPLE - SHONA
The Shona tribe is Zimbabwe's largest indigenous group, their tribal
language is also called Shona (Bantu) and their population is around 9 million.
They are found in Zimbabwe, Botswana and southern Mozambique in Southern Africa
and bordering South Africa. Representing over 80% of the population, the Shona tribe is culturally the most
dominate tribe in Zimbabwe. There are five main Shona language groups: Korekore,
Zeseru, Manyika, Ndau, and Karanga. The Ndebele largely absorbed the last of these
groups when they moved into western Zimbabwe in the 1830s.
Traditionally,Shona people live in isolated settlements, usually consisting of one or more elder
men and their extended families. Most decisions are made within the family, although
organized political states were recognized as a source of centralized power. A
principal chief who inherited his position and power in the same divine manner
as a king headed them. He usually lived in a centralized location and was complemented
by his court that advised him about most important decisions. The head chief often
received substantial payment in the form of tributes from his constituency.
Shona believe in two types of spirits. Shave spirits are most often considered
to be outside or wandering spirits and vadzimu are ancestor spirits. Shave spirits
are connected to populations living outside of Shona territory and may be connected
to neighboring people. These spirits may be either malevolent or benevolent. Bad
spirits are associated with witchcraft, while good spirits may inspire individual
talents associated with healing, music, or artistic ability. Vadzimu represent
all that is ideal and moral about a Shona way of life. They are usually associated
with recent ancestors or with more remote culture heroes whose exact genealogy
has been forgotten. They serve to protect society, but may withdraw this protection
if the Shona moral ideals are not respected
was in the late 19th century that the peoples of this area speaking several mutually
intelligible languages were united under the Shona name. Although
known for their stone sculpture, the Shona Tribe of Zimbabwe has a rich artistic
heritage, which includes decorative fabric painting using sadza too. Sadza (pronounced
sudza) is Maize, a primary basis of their diet. Maize (corn) is ground into a
fine meal, which is then cooked with water until it is the consistency of mashed
eaten plain, sadza is often served with a vegetable or meat sauce to give it flavor.
This painting technique uses the sadza instead of wax as a masking between the
different paint colors. After painting, the canvas is left to dry in the sun.
Finally, the fabric is washed to remove the sadza leaving it with a unique finished
appearance. Designs often use traditional geometric patterns mixed with stylized
objects from everyday Shona life
Shona artist are well known for their
stone sculptures and are typically called "Shona" sculptures because it is the
name of the tribe in Zimbabwe that has traditionally created these works of art.
The stone carving has been part of the Zimbabwean culture since 1200 AD when Great
Zimbabwe, an archeological masterpiece of their early ancestors, was built.
The re-emergence of this stone carving tradition in the 1950s, the solid forms
and beautiful surfaces of Shona sculpture express an extraordinary emotional power".
Today the art form commands worldwide recognition with the world's most talented
carvers being recognized in Zimbabwe
The Shona sculptures are produced from
a variety of stones. Serpentine
stone, with its considerable range of colors and hardness, is the material most
commonly used by the sculptors. Most serpentine stone used was formed over 2.6
billion years ago. Serpentine stone exists in a diversity of colors including
black (the hardest and least common), browns, mauves, greens, and yellows. Sometimes
sculptures are also made semi-precious stones like "Leopard Rock" and verdite.
Drawing on ancient sculpting traditions they have produced a modern
art movement of dignified, exquisite works. Reminiscent of Picasso and Henry Moore,
these extraordinary, intense works speak to all.
There are around 14 million Shona peopl ein Southern Africa.
A selection of a few Shona choices available from African Crafts Market.
A selection of a few beaded Ndebele doll choices available
from African Crafts Market.
Click here Learn about more African
tribes and traditions
CRAFTS MARKET is a company situated in South Africa that has many
African pieces of art available for sale, from the lovely Ashanti Fertility
dolls and Talking drums through the traditional Masks and cloth. To view the items that may be of interests to you go to our gallery
pages on our website at www.africancraftsmarket.com
Abstract art~ African
figures ~ African busts ~ animal
skins ~ Tribal Zulu / Ndebele bead work ~ candles ~ candle holders ~ African canes ~ chessboards ~ clay art ~ cooking
utensil ~ cushions ~ Tribal
drums ~ footwear ~ furniture ~ gemstones ~ hats ~ animal
horns ~ handmade jewelry ~ lights
& lamp shades ~leather ~ African
tribal masks ~ decoupage ostrich eggs ~ paintings ~ postcards ~ Zulu shields ~ stone
animals ~ stone eggs ~ tablecloths ~ tableware ~
~ wire art ~ wood animals ~ wood tableware ~ Zulu