South Africa // KwaZulu-Natal //

Vukani Zulu Cultural Museum

Containing more than three thousand examples of traditional Zulu arts and crafts, the brilliant Vukani Zulu Cultural Museum is housed in a purpose-built structure on the grounds of Fort Nongqayi. Guided tours take you through the huge range of baskets (a craft at which Zulu culture excels), each made for a specific purpose, the finest of which are the ones by Reuben Ndwandwe, arguably the greatest Zulu basket weaver. There are also carvings, beadwork, tapestries and some outstanding ceramics, including works by Nesta Nala, one of the leading proponents of the form. Both Ndwandwe and Nala died a few years ago of AIDS. The benchmark examples here allow you to form an idea of the quality of basketry and crafts you’ll see for sale as you work your way around Zululand. The museum itself sells baskets and pottery by local artists, which far surpass what’s on offer at the on-site crafts shop.

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