Celebrating Customs through artistic illustrations
This exhibit celebrates the traditions and cultural customs of Mpumalanga. Through artistic illustrations, Barbara Tyrell showcases the traditional attire and customs of different tribes in the region.
Barbara Tyrrell was a lifelong scholar focused of African rituals and the clothing of the traditional people of South Africa and is known internationally for her detailed illustration of the traditional dress of the indigenous peoples of southern Africa.
Vibrant Traditional Attire
The Swazis are known for colourful ceremonies and traditional dress worn till today by both men and women. The painting shows a young man with attention on his hair. He holds a hand mirror that is ceremonial and is used to place the feathers correctly into his hair.
Xhosa Smoking Custom
Pipe smoking is an important Xhosa culture for both men and women. This painting depicts an unmarried woman smoking a pipe customarily for married women. She's confirmed single by not wearing a white apron. When someone dies, it's said they've ‘laid down their pipe’.
Colorful Fabric and Attire
Tsong vibrant traditional wear is worn by both men and women of the tribe. This painting illustrates a Changana Tsonga woman in the dress with emphasis on the hair braided with grass. In the background is a young man in a traditional Tsonga dress.