The Amangwe Zulu Crafts business project is jointly managed by women elected from among the crafter and experienced volunteers in design, financial management and marketing. The aim is to provide an opportunity for rural people to use traditional craft skills to increase their family income, as well as to maintain and promote the intricate and sophisticated beading tradition of the Amangwe Tribe.
Currently, beadwork and basketry is bought from approximately 30 women in the Injesuti/Loskop area, the heart of the Amangwe tribal area. These women represent four sub groups, several of which have been producing high quality beadwork for many years. They gather several times a month to bring their work, pick up new orders, admire each other’s work and to teach each other new techniques. Fair prices are given for the crafts which in turn is marketed to local shops and overseas.
Future goals include broadening our markets, providing workshops in money management, quality production and managing the business. We hope to be able to sponsor ethnographic work on the traditional beadwork patterns, meanings and uses, as well as opportunity for master beaders to produce special beadwork art pieces.
Amangwe can also arrange guided tours to beadworkers and basket weavers in the local area.
*This participant is a member of the Africa Craft Trust.