Valley of the Kings

If you’re looking for somewhere local to visit these holidays the eMakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park might just be a great starting point for your road trip! Located in the Valley of the Kings just outside of Ulundi, the area boasts great natural beauty, as well as some impressive wildlife – a variety of game have been reintroduced … Read more

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

Mncane Nzuza: Master Zulu Potter

Mncane Nzuza with one of her hand crafted clay pots

Given how much a part of everyday South African life Zulu pots are – and how strikingly beautiful they are – it’s a wonder that we don’t hear more about the artists responsible for these wonderful pots that are used for everything from pot plants, to pieces of sculpture, to vessels for beer – the … Read more

The Uphiso Pot

It might be telling that the Zulu pot people are most familiar with is the ukhamba, the pot that’s associated with beer drinking ceremonies – ceremonies that still form part of culturals practices for Zulu -speaking people. Less familiar is the uphiso, a vessel that’s used for carrying water, and yes, you guessed it, beer! … Read more

Making a Traditional Zulu Pot

Next week an exhibition of clay pots opens at the KZNSA Gallery. A collaboration between the gallery and Phansi Museum in Glenwood, the exhibition, KZN Clay Vessels Over Time, is a celebration of 100 year of clay masters. And masters they really are! With clay pots being used for everything from storing maize and water, … Read more