I lived in the Transkei, South Africa for several years.The Transkei was created as a 'Homeland' during the Apartheid period.
My work was specific to the Pondo and Xhosa Tribe. Living on Mkambati Game Reserve with the Pondo people created the opportunity for close friendships. I was given the name ‘Thandiwe’, meaning 'loved one'. The local daily activities of fishing, supplying the local shabeen, learning traditional beadwork, traditional ceremonies, dance and hiking were an integral part of life in the Transkei.
I have vivid memories of the people crowding around me with curiosoty as I explained the process of making a mould from a face. I was very close to a few of the people who in turn were able to translate my desire to make a mould from someones' face.
The reaction was one of disbelief and suspicion. Viola and Zuko volunteered.
My bronze sculptures later cast by myself in Marin County, California are a testament to the rich experiences with friends in Pondoland.