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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world

South African

Basket (imbenge) 2001

RCIN 102892

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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The earliest Zulu baskets were made by men using tightly woven grasses and palm leaf. Today, craftspeople living in urban areas recreate many of the old patterns and forms with a new medium: recycled telephone wire. This craft emerged in the 1970s, led by artists like Elliot Mkhize who began creating carefully coiled platters using plastic wire. Increasingly this art form has become a female industry. Ntombifuthi Magwaza, who made this basket, was influenced by the beadwork traditions of her grandmother during her upbringing on the outskirts of Durban. She describes her work as spontaneous rather than planned, guided by the juxtaposition of different colours.

It was presented to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother by President and Mrs. Mbeki on their State Visit in 2001.