Home > Cultures > Wired: Contemporary Zulu Telephone Wire Baskets

Wired: Contemporary Zulu Telephone Wire Baskets

$50.00
Availability : Ships regularly
Item SKU : 62714

The manufacture and decorative use of wire in Southern Africa traditional arts dates back to the first millennium AD. With advancements in telecommunications, a new type of wire - multi-colored plastic-coated copper wire, often referred to as telephone wire - came into being. Beginning in the late 1960's, Zulu night watchmen started weaving scraps of this wire around their traditional sticks. This new material was also applied to making izimbenge - beer pot covers - that had been traditionally made from grass and palm. Today, there is wide variety in the creative use of this wire, and, in post-Apartheid South Africa, Zulu craft artists are imbuing old forms with the colourful contemporary material of telecommunications. The result is a vibrant, distinctive new folk form gaining international attention. This is the first and only publication to document the development of this transitional art. Including more than two-hundred examples of baskets, this book traces telephone-wire weaving from its roots to its most current forms, featuring the works of the most renowned contemporary weavers. The accompanying text - from some of the foremost experts in African art and craft - traces the history of telephone-wire weaving as well as discussing its significance to South African culture and art history.

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