The Nala Pottery Dynasty

While today you do occasionally see Zulu beer pots being made by men, traditionally pot making is the territory of women, who not only make the clay vessels, but are also responsible for brewing the beer that goes into the pots. While Zulu pots have always been both functional and decorative, the women of the … Read more

Ukhamba & Amasumpa

Last week we wrote about utshwala and the order in which it is drunk. Today we’ll look at the significance of the decoration of ukhamba, the pots used for drinking traditional beer. In recent years these beer pots have become sought after decor items. But while they may be very attractive, the decoration isn’t purely for aesthetic … Read more

Song of the Soil

The Zulu clay pot, or ukhamba, is something very special indeed. Not only are these pots very striking to look at, but they permeate a sense of Zulu culture and are steeped in history, with all sorts of traditions associated with them. Most typically the pots are made by women, and are used to drink … Read more

A Zulu Burial

This past weekend saw Nelson Mandela, one of South Africa’s greatest struggle heroes, buried. A few days before the funeral a memorial service was held to honour this great man. During the proceedings the heavens opened and mourners were drenched while celebrating the life of Mandela. Anywhere else in the world the poor weather would … Read more

No Shortage of Beer!

The wine farms must be smiling (all the way to the bank) at the moment! While in past years there’s been a global excess of wine in the market, this year’s poor production coupled with a growing demand for the tipple, means that there’s a serious shortage of plonk. But if you’re a traditional Zulu … Read more