Embroidering Lungano, oral Venda traditional story telling and songs
Tambani is a quilting and embroidering initiative to set a group of disadvantaged rural African women on a path of self-actualization and economic empowerment. The embroidered folk tales, which are sold as applique blocks and used by quilters, knitters and crafters all over the world, is a practical way of preserving the Venda oral tradition too.
Piet Mavhetha rural philosopher of note
Ina le Roux did a doctorate on Venda Folk Tales while lecturing at Venda University. Her research lead her to Pastor Piet Mavhetha who introduced her to various story tellers. Overwhelmed by the lack of economic opportunity in the area she came up with the idea of embroidering the folk tales on quilts, wall hangings, bags, etc.
Empowerment in deep rural Venda
The women are now embroidering scenes from their folk tales on so called ‘malappies’ which come with a copy of the story translated into English. The Tambani Project perpetuates the Venda Oral Tradition and the women are able to earn something for the first time in their lives.
Venda oral tradition embroidered and quilted on wall hangings
Wide open space of rural Venda where Tambani women works
Venda oral tradition preserved in scatter cushion
Donkey cart in deep rural Venda where Tambani embroiderers live
Ina le Roux and one of her friends still doing the dwingling art of stortytelling. Ina shows how the story develops on the embroidered story-panel
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