african masksSouthern African Art
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A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

African Art books I like | Genuine African Masks

South Africa

Southern African art, Namibia, Botswana

South Africa collection

A Southern African art collection 

Until the 60's, the artistic production of meridional Africa -South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana were attributed to the Zulu- the most important political force -and not properly understood.  

It is very difficult to collect, since the nomadic habits in SA did they haven't made much figurative art.
Ndebele-Zimbabwe ]


A South African anthropologist by the name of Schapira (not sure about the spelling?) wrote a book published by Penguin, many years ago, called Married Life in Africa which is about the Tswana. There are countless other studies and articles about them.

The objects on this page are coming from the Groenenhuizen collection in Den Haag, Netherlands, they where collected around 1900-1920.

South Africans where nomadic -they follow their herds or cattle- and so their artistic output is mainly limited to utilitarian objects, such as clubs, vessels, neckrests, pipes, and snuff boxes, you will see a few nice and old samples below.

>> The Bushmen are not Tswana thought they live in Botswana. The Tswana are a different ethnic from Bushmen who are "nomads", small in stature. Their motto is "we have little and we want little" isn't that something to learn from?! ( dixit Margalit a member of our african antiques discussion group ) <<

Most of the items of the collction below are already sold, 

to see our items for sale you should  visit Buy African Antiques  

Angola-staff.jpg (109728 bytes)  A Lunda staff, with a fine stylised expression, and hair dress.
Botswana-Bushman-tabacco-bag.jpg (187272 bytes)Botswana-Bushman-tabacco-bag-back.jpg (144460 bytes) A bushmen Kalahari tobacco bag from Botswana early XXth century.

Very little is known about the Botswana people and  very few objects have been attributed to them.


Iduma staff XIXth century. North Nguni.

114cm very rare.

At the beginning of the XIXth century, several tribes joined together and took the name of one - The Zulu.

Their king reigned over local chiefs called Iduma, who in turn, ruled over the people.

In 1884, the Zulu lost their independence when they were subjugated by the English.

This anthropomorphic Club is typical for the North Nguni, and with it's three heads, and fine carving must have belonged to an important chief.

Now in the Kevin Conru collection.

Ndeble-snuff-bottle.jpg (143232 bytes)Zulu-snuff-bottle-wood Two-Zulu-snuff-bottle-wood-horn.jpg (128360 bytes)Zulu-snuff-boxZulu-snuff-bottle.jpg (122936 bytes)
Several snuff bottles. North Nguni smoking habits generated an array of snuff containers carved from horn, wood, with copper wires and beads 9cm-14cm

South-Africa-statue.jpg (71373 bytes)A rare big South African statue, 70 cm high

Shona? Zulu? Can you tell me more?

Provenance: bought at Christies South Kensington around 1980 by Fernando Moncada. Now in the Kevin Conru collection.

South-Africa-statue-side.jpg (61218 bytes)

South African weapons

A very rare South-African Ambo-Kwaniama weapon to complete the collection

18.5cm X 29 cm


zulu birdzulu beads Zulu beads from the Aitken collection  

A Zulu bird from the Aitken collection, 33cm (still available)

A Lozi-Rotse pot, western Zambia. diameter, 42 cm. high 20 cm 
A Zulu neckrest, slight damages. Diameter 33cm, high 16.5 cm

read also about South African art:  The Ndebele people of Zimbabwe and No Golden Rules and Polk Museum Florida

I also found an interesting site about the history of  contemporary SA paintings

Or if you need to visit a site specialized in South African art material:

Tell me if you have something for sale or collect these items:

buy african masks
African masks from Known Collections

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David Norden

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Sint-katelijnevest 27

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In this section:
Central -Equatorial-Africa
West Africa
African sculptures
Southern African Art
North Africa
african tribe list 

African art books

The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

more African Art books I like

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