Image Description

Photograph by Constance Stuart Larrabee, 1936-1949.

Ndebele Woman PaintingGatepost, 1936-1949. The woman is painting one of the ball-capped pillars at the entrance to the homestead area with a paintbrush and holding a tin container for the paint. She is wearing a long blanket over her shoulder, beaded neck, arm, and leg rings, and brass arm and leg rings.
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art

 Originally these painted designs, perceived by the white majority to be purely
decorative, but they were used by the Ndebele to communicate resistance
through a complex visual language known only to them. Still painted
today, these murals act as an affirmation of cultural identity

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