|Although they are regarded as distinct from other cultures in black Africa, the arts of South Africa are little known in Europe. With a selection of two hundred works from private collections and museums in South Africa and Europe, this exhibition invites visitors to discover the traditional civilisations of South Africa, that of the Zulus along with those of lesser known cultures, the "people who share and respect one another", ubuntu in Zulu. |
Among the decorative items used by the ethnic groups in South Africa - mural paintings, clothing and finery -, beads are the most important. Whether they are made of bone, discs of ostrich eggshell or, more often, imported glass paste, beads always have a high symbolic value, even if it differs from one group to another: they may be ancestral relics, status symbols or the mark of a woman’s feelings for a man. Victims of apartheid, the black communities in South Africa revived the creation of traditional ornaments and made them a vital part of their cultural identity.
Musée national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie