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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Shaping in Dull, Dead Eaeth Their Dreams of Riches and Beauty': Clay Modelling at e-Hala and Hogsback in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Authors:Morrow, Sean
Vokwana, Nwabisa
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Architecture and the Arts
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:The village of Hogsback is a picturesque tourist resort in the Amatola Mountains of the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Below Hogsback lies the village of e-Hala (or Auckland). Hogsback and e-Hala superficially appear to be separate and different worlds. Hogsback is a retirement haven, tourist resort and centre of commercial forestry; e-Hala, an impoverished Xhosa-speaking village. Yet Hogsback and e-Hala have in fact always been a single economic unit. e-Hala is a reservoir of labour of Hogsback, and many workers commute from there daily. Even those who live in Hogsback tend to return to the valley when they are unemployed or retire. The relationship between the two settlements is, however, not confined to the oscillation of labour. Visitors to Hogsback will be struck by the sellers of small clay models, mostly of animals. These models are made by boys and young men from e-Hala, and are sold on the road between the two villages, and at Hogsback itself. The models, often beautiful in themselves, are a response to the tourist industry. They have their roots, also, in the autonomous life of the village. The purpose of this paper is to examine the history and the social significance of this clay-modelling tradition. It pays attention to women and the tradition of clay pottery, the economics of modelling, the material used, Xhosa beliefs about clay, and how modellers perceive their art. Notes, ref., sum.