Beaded Art

The time of the ancestors

A small group of Ju/’hoan-speaking San women from the Kalahari region of Namibia, explore their rich tradition on fabric, using ostrich eggshell beads together with embroidery to reinterpret prehistoric rock paintings found in sites distributed mainly along the great southern-African escarpment that runs through Namibia. 

The paintings are thought to be linked to shamanist traditions, depicting animals that are thought to have possible symbolic or metaphorical meanings. The parade of wildlife includes antelopes such as springbuck and oryx, followed by giraffes, zebra, elephant, felines and rhinos. The colours used reflect the landscape: shades of red and yellow ochre, burnt sienna, charcoal, black and white.

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