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African Art Takes Center Stage At Local MuseumAfrican Art Takes Center Stage At Local Museum

By Pat Ciarrocchi Reporting, found at CBS

(CBS 3) PHILADELPHIA The art of African women is taking center stage in a unique exhibit at Philadelphia's African American Museum extended now until August 7th.

More than just painting, it's a staging of artistic culture and pride.

Duduzeeli is unlike other 19-year-olds.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 26th Street 
Philadelphia, PA 19130 

(215) 763-8100 | TTY: (215) 684-7600
Museum Hours:
Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday evenings until 8:45 p.m. Closed Mondays and legal holidays


"When I first started to do my artwork I was four," Duduzeeli said.

She's an artist from one of the poorest and most remote communities of South Africa.

A woman of the Ndebele Tribe is painting its signature and complex geometric designs at the African American Museum through Friday.

"It means a lot to me because some people forgot where they are from and that's what I like to show them," Duduzeeli said.

The exhibit, the art of African women, is the photographic work of Margaret Courtney-Clarke who spent 15 years in South Africa capturing women's unique artistry.

"Their life is very extremely hard. They can grow nothing in the soil. They have only extraordinary ability to decorate their homes to add some color and life and interest in their surroundings," Courtney Clarke said.

The pattern is first laid out by the artists' fingertips mixing paint from ground stones and cow manure.

"You dip your hands into the paint and you use the fingers to draw the lines of the pattern," Duduzeeli said.

It is perfectly straight without a ruler.

Courtney-Clarke created a foundation to help teach young girls the dying art so the Ndebele can survive economically.

"I'm absolutely devoted to this project and because I've seen the results," Courtney Clarke said.

Duduzeeli is now studying computers and selling jeans painted with her beloved Ndebele patterns. As a child she used to study by candlelight and now:

"Now we have everything we have electricity Duduzeeli said.

They also have another young woman anchored to the creative spirit of her homeland.

related Philadelphia Museum - Living culture

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The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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