Limpopo is known for our abundant big game in the Kruger Park, Mapungubwe world heritage site and all the bushveld safari lodges. But, did you know…
It is Limpopo’s cultural heritage that binds us together
The Soutpansberg mountain range with its sibling mountains the Blouberg and Makgabeng and the Limpopo flood river valley, is not only an extraordinary biodiverse region that draw natural scientists from all over the world to study leopard, baboons, birds, spiders, snakes and bats – but the abundant cultural heritage has consistently been drawing and producing eminent artists and anthropologist for many years, in fact since the dawn of time.
Not for nothing either – steeped in the age-old African tradition of sacred arts and crafts, Limpopo continually generates fresh interpretations of objects that bears deeper meaning and becomes carriers of historical tales, moral values, strengthening the oral traditions and forms the glue that binds us all together here.
CraftArt from early iron ages to now
Limpopo is home to the colourful Venda, Tsonga, and Northern Sotho peoples, the Hananwa of the mysterious Blouberg-Makgabeng, the Balobedo people of Modjaji our rain queen and the BaPhalaborwa traditional metalworkers to the south.
This region has been occupied successively by San hunter-gatherers, Khoekoe herders, Iron Age farmers, Northern Sotho, Venda and Tsonga communities and colonists of European decent.
The stories of the ways in which each of these groups recorded their presence and interactions can still be seen, heard and felt in the everyday buzz of various cultures co-existing in the northern frontiers of South Africa.
Abundant inspiration in the raw beauty of Limpopo
At Madi a Thavha we revel in the rich cultural heritage of the province, like the virtually unknown existence of more than 4000 documented Khoi-San rock art engravings in the central Limpopo basin.
Here we get inspiration from every nook and corner: from the colorful wall-art of the homesteads, the soft patterns on the dung floors to the intricate textures of woodcarvings and traditional pottery not even to mention the abundant bursts of colours, shapes, patterns and textures on the traditional attires of the Venda, Tsonga and Sotho women and men.
Our people are not intimidated by the fashion gurus of the world and wear our beads and colours with proud abandon. If we want to dance in the streets we do. If we want to greet our neighbors two blocks away over the heads of people, taxis and buzz, we do. This is vibrant, rural-hip Limpopo.
One label for Limpopo not possible
It was not easy to create one Limpopo CraftArt information tag which give all the artisans of Limpopo a voice and a place in the present-day CraftArt landscape. It is a bit like eating an elephant, as the old Venda saying goes, small bit by small bit. So, this is what we did: a bit of wood, a glimpse of pot, some weaving, textile and beading in an ongoing series that give visitors, inside information about our people and our province.
Here then are the first information tags now accompanying all quality-controlled products that go via Madi a Thavha to the rest of the world. Madi a Thavha proudly supports Venda, Tsonga and Northern Sotho artists and crafters. These products reflect the rich and colorful cultural heritage of Limpopo.