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Art of indigenous needlework, ukuthunga

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Old 10-06-2014, 11:52 AM   #1
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Art of indigenous needlework, ukuthunga

To celebrate the art of indigenous needlework, called ‘ukuthunga’ in isiZulu, the South African Post Office has released a miniature sheet with a stamp and a commemorative envelope.

A miniature sheet (an A5-sized design with a perforated stamp in it) costs R22.80 and a commemorative envelope costs R25.80. The items are available from all post offices or sastamps @

Artists involved in creating the designs include Thandi Sithole, Goodness Basolivumeleni and Phiwan Ngubani.

“It is interesting to note that Basolivumeleni always included the internal organs, even the teeth of the animals in her designs. Some animals were shown pregnant with a clearly visible embryo,” the SA Post Office said in a statement.

The panel on the commemorative envelope depicts a black rhino (Bhejane in isiZulu) pregnant with new life.

“The black rhino can be seen browsing in an enchanted forest where all the elements are brought together - the sun, a rainbow, stars and flowering indigenous bush. Behind her is the symbol for an ammonite, part of our ancient history.”

The design on the canceller is one of the five original designs done by Basolivumeleni in 2003.

The isiZulu words used in the designs are ilanga, which means the sun, indlovu meaning elephant, isihlahla meaning a tree and sihle isihlahla a beautiful tree.

The artists are all affiliated to the Tunga Embroydery Studio in Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal. –
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