Zulu ‘Cutlery’ and ‘Crockery’

The Phansi Museum in Glenwood is having a sale of some of their woven and beaded artefacts from Msinga, and it got us thinking about how different (and wonderful!) African ‘cutlery’ and ‘crockery’ is.

Historically, these items would have been made from either straw, clay or wood and would have been referred to as ezotshomezobumba and ezokhum respectively.

Thing like beer strainers (amahluzo), beer sieves (izikhetho) and serving mats (izithebe) would have been made from grasses such as ikhwani, ingcobosi, ibhuma, incema and isikhonko, which would be cut and stored until dry enough to use. Wooden ‘crockery’, such as meatpIates (izingqoko) would be made from locally sourced wood, and pots such as those used for carrying water (uphiso) or brewing beer (imbiza) would be made from clay from the local riverbeds.

Very different from buying a complete dinner service from your local department store isn’t it? And so much more beautiful!

Contact Phansi Museum if you’re interested in getting your hands on some of the wonderful Msinga artefacts that they have for sale – that’s if they haven’t all been snapped up already!

Images courtesy of phansi.com


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