Ilala Weavers

Ilala Weavers came into being in the 1980’s with the objective of reviving some of the traditional Zulu handcrafts that were in danger of dying out at that time.  As well as providing a guideline for self-sufficiency for Zulu women of the area, the main objective of the project is employment and income-generation.

The Ilala mission statement is “to improve the income and living standards of the Zulu people through their own efforts by developing cottage industry, providing guidance as to market requirements and marketing the resultant products”.

Ilala Weavers has the largest collection of traditional Zulu baskets in the world, magnificent Zulu beadwork and many other crafts.  The Khaki Klub clothing section is a well-stocked bushwear shop – with comfortable, durable and desirable clothing.

Ilala Weavers is open seven days a week and the complex also contains a museum. 

Zulu Cultural Museum:

The museum at Ilala Weavers contains unique and antique artefacts dating back to early in the last century.  The displays include artefacts of dress, eating and drinking, hunting and fighting, music and dance.  The museum shop sells some of these items.

The Thembalethu Craft Village:

The Thembalethu Craft Village is a community driven employment project.  Thembalethu is a contemporary version of a traditional Zulu kraal.  An interesting feature of this homestead style is that the headman’s hut is built in a square shape to distinguish it from the others.  Here visitors can interact with the resident people – watch the beautiful beer basket weaving, beadwork, wood-carving and other crafts.  A guide will explain the significance of various items in the homestead or ‘kraal’.

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