We are sad to announce that Hlamarisa Vuma has passed away on 23 November 2015. Hlamarisa had a beautiful soul and despite her physical handicaps, made a positive and lasting contribution to life in her community in Bungeni.
Strong and beautiful Hlamarisa
Hlamarisa Vuma learned bead-work from her mother and in return, taught many young people these skills at her home village in Bungeni. She was disabled but loved to do beading every day. She specialized in traditional bead-work such as fertility dolls and garments for traditional healers, but also liked to make modern jewellery and decorations for fashion and interior products.
Creativity in Crafts programme
Hlamarisa took part in the Creativity in Crafts training programme in Limpopo during 2015. Madi a Thavha gave her support on the job with technical product development and marketing, like this, her own website page being hosted on Madi a Thavha’s website.
During this program Hlamarisa produced traditionally inspired bead work that could be used to develop new ranges of jewellery in conjunction with wooden beads of other local artists. She continuously made new designs for necklaces and bracelets inspired by traditional Tsonga jewellery.
Madi a Thavha Textile & Design studio used her beaded circles on interior products with matching colour ranges, such as table runners, cushion covers and curtains.
Partnership and collaboration
Madi a Thavha has a long established relationship with Hlamarisa and her family. We visited her often with tourists and supported her to run her small shop at home.
Because she was homebound and moved with difficulty, we provided a metal-box, divided in sections as a ‘mobile’ display unit that she could decorate herself and which could conveniently display all her small items and beadwork.
Her products are very popular and tourists love to buy her work. We frequently placed orders for the Madi a Thavha CraftArt shop too.
Hlamarisa lived in Bungeni, a rural village about 30 kilometers from Elim in northern Limpopo. She was part of a well-established family with a beautiful homestead in the village. She lived with her old mother and relatives who also took care of her special needs being disabled. Her mother has recently passed away too. The family runs a ‘spaza’ shop at their house. It is always a pleasure to visit this homestead where they still nurture their traditional way of life. Hlamarisa used to jokingly tell us “when you do not give me orders, I am sleeping” but at any time when one is visiting they are all cooking, drying vegetables or stamping beans. Now her brother and family will keep the traditional skills alive and pass it on to their children.
“May you rest in peace Hlamarisa, Limpopo will miss you dearly”