Saturday, January 14, 2012

Two commissions for our Minister of Tourism

Nguni Bull - Oil on Canvas 1300 x 900
I recently completed two large Nguni paintings for Tourism House in Pretoria. Both paintings were commissioned by South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, one to hang in his office and the other in the tourism boardroom. I feel so honored to have been chosen by the Minister to do these two paintings and appreciate the personal letter of thanks I received from him.
South Africa's indigenous Nguni cattle, long the mainstay of traditional Zulu culture, are possibly the most beautiful cattle in the world.
Nguni cattle are known for their fertility and resistance to diseases, being the favorite breed amongst the indigenous Bantu people of Southern Africa. They are characterized by their multi coloured skin, which can present many different patterns, but their noses are always black-tipped.

White Nguni - Oil on Canvas 1300 x 900
The ancestors of Nguni cattle were brought by the Xhosa, Zulu and Swazi people, during their migration to South Africa between 600 and 700 AD. Since then, these animals have played an important social and economic role in the development of these societies and are used as a bride's dowry. The number of animals held by a village or individual determined much of their importance to the rest of the world. King Shaka of the Zulus understood this cultural and economic importance and seized control of the Nguni herds on his dominions. Shaka also bred the Ngunis according to colour patterns in order to produce skins for the several regiments of his army, henceforward recognized by them. His elite personal guard was recognised by pure white, from animals of the royal herd, the inyonikayiphumuli.
Commissions undertaken: