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Human Rights

 

Siyazama: Traditional Arts, Education, and AIDS in South Africa

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Photo of the Siyazama Project text panel  
   
Photo of a Human Tower doll "Human Tower"
This tableau depicts the story told of women in a community who build a tower of their bodies to lift a young wife out of the reach of her husband who is HIV positive and insists on having unprotected intercourse with her.
Beauty Ndlovu (Zulu), Cato Ridge, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Soft sculpture tableau. 2003. Cloth, beads.
MSUM 2003:46.12
11 1/2" x 11" x 14"
   
Photo of a Soft Sclupture tableau Soft sculpture tableau
"These are the women and men in training to become sangomas. As they dance one of them faints and they call in the doctors and they tell the trainer that she's HIV positive but because of the lack of knowledge about AIDS in traditional healers they thought she was sick because she was supposed to become a sangoma."
Beauty Ndlovu (Zulu), Cato Ridge, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Cloth, beads, fur.
MSUM 2003:46.15
11 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 8 1/2"
   
Photo of a Soft Sclupture tableau

Soft sculpture tableau
Ndaba describes this scene: "[This one] is about a girl who went to marry a guy only to find out that he has AIDS and she was scared to go back home to tell her family about it, so she asked her sisters-in-law to go to her family to tell them." All three figures have a red beaded AIDS ribbon on their right arms.
Khombiseni Ndaba (Zulu), Inanda, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
2003. Cloth, beads, cardboard.
MSUM 2003:46.3
10 1/2" x 9" x 5 1/2"

   
Photo of a Breast Feeding doll "Breast Feeding"
Beauty Ndlovu (Zulu), Cato Ridge, Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Doll. 2003. Cloth, beads.
MSUM 2003:46.23
5 1/2" x 9 1/2" x 5 1/4"
   

Photo of a Soft Sclupture tableau

Soft sculpture tableau
"This tableau is about a mother and a young girl who is sick and when she takes her to the clinic she finds that the girl is infected with AIDS and when she asks her where she got it from she cries. Her mother chases her away and her younger sister and the dog goes with her so her mother is very upset."
Thokozani Sibisi (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Cloth, beads.
MSUM 2003:46.11
11 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 7"

   

Photo of Twins dolls

"Twins"
Traditionally twins are a bad omen in Zulu culture and are considered to have special powers of communicating with ancestors and with each other. It is also believed that what happens to one will happen to the other.

"The difference between the virgin [on left] and the married woman [right] is that the virgin wears a "towel" [cloth skirt] and the married woman wears a shawl and a headgear and a leather skirt." The married twin has tested positive for HIV/AIDS. Will the unmarried twin get it? Ximba said that the twin's relationship broke down when the married sister revealed her HIV/AIDS status and that they now could no longer feel each other's emotions. They are now separated.
Lobolile Ximba (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Cloth, beads.
MSUM 2003:46.27
14 3/4" x 3" x 23 1/2"

 

   
Photo of a Doll
Doll
According to the artist, this shows an old one "who hoped that she would be able to cure HIV but has failed, and hopes the young one will have more power to heal others of HIV. No one has been healed yet."
Fokosile Ngema (Zulu), Muden, Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
1998-1999. Beads, fabric.
MSUM 2000:6.6.1
6" x 2 3/4" x 15 1/4"
 
Photo of a Doll

Doll
Makhanya says, "This is an unmarried woman but old that is why she is wearing a towel [cloth] and not a leather skirt." Safa Omona, the first word on the skirt, means "we are suffering."
Bongelephi Makhanya (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Cloth, beads, tacks, wire.
MSUM 2003:46.22
6 1/2" x 4" x 17"

   
Photo of Dolls

Doll
Buthelezi says that "this type of work is done to portray the stories and messages of HIV/AIDS and how it affects our lives as rural women." The word amawele on the base means twins in Zulu.
Sibongile Buthelezi (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Cloth, beads.
MSUM 2003:46.28
13 1/4" x 4 1/2" x 18 1/2"

   
Photo of a Doll

Doll
According to the artist, the doll represents a young mother living with HIV and now she is telling the community that she has AIDS and needs a lot of help and protection.
Fokosile Ngema (Zulu), Muden, Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
1998-1999. Beads, fabic, thumbtacks, cardboard.
MSUM 2000:6.2
6" x 4 1/4" x 13 1/4"

 
Photo of the Nyanga Doll
"The Nyanga (Herbalist)"
Ximba says of this piece, "The nyanga has helped people, but he is also trying to find a cure for AIDS. He has used all his knowledge, but to no use, even the ones who have AIDS visit him to help alleviate their suffering. This nyanga can cure AIDS with the muthi (medicine) he carries in his horn."
Lobolile Ximba (Zulu), Muden, Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Doll. 1998-1999. Beads, fabric, fur.
MSUM 2000:6.8
6" x 4" x 15"
   
Photo of a Woman from a Hospital doll

"Woman from a Hospital"
"This woman is from a hospital. She's just delivered a baby who is HIV positive but what's amazing is that she's not HIV positive."

"The AIDS education has helped me to know that you can never tell an HIV positive person by looking at him or her…so if you get involved with someone you should always use protection so you won't get infected.

"Inanda, Ndwedwe region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Soft sculpture tableau. 2003. Beads, thread, cloth.
MSUM 2003:46.48
6" x 8" x 7"

 
Photo of a Necklace
Necklaces
Kishwephi Sithole (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Beads, thread.
MSUM 2003:46.56
8 3/4" x 8 1/4"
Photo of a Necklace
Tuza Mchunu (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Beads, thread.
MSUM 2003:46.44
8 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Photo of a Necklace
Tuza Mchunu (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Beads, thread.
MSUM 2003:46.42
10 1/2" x 6 3/4"
Photo of a Necklace Khishwephi Sithole (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Beads, thread.
MSUM 2003:46.40
14 3/4" x 2"
Photo of a Necklace Khipmeni Myaka (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Beads, thread.
MSUM 2003:46.52
14 1/4" x 3 1/4"
Photo of a Necklace Phangisani Sithole (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Beads, thread.
MSUM 2003:46.41
15 1/2" x 2"
Photo of a Necklace Khishwephi Sithole (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Beads, thread.
MSUM 2003:45.54
15" x 2 1/2"
Photo of a Necklace Khipheni Myaka (Zulu), Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Beads, thread.
MSUM 2003:46.51
14" x 3 1/2"
   
Photo of the artist profile Celani Nojiyeza text panel
   
Photo of a Soft Sclupture tableau Soft sculpture tableau
According to the artist, this shows the experience of one her relatives who had more pain than normal and, because she was HIV positive, had no power or strength, and so the women attending her took her from home to the Mbeka clinic in the Ndwedwe area. At the clinic they gave her an injection to give her "power" and to help subdue the pain. This still gave her no "power," so is shown here about to have her baby delivered by Caesarian section.
Celani Nojiyeza (Zulu), Ndwedwe region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
1998-1999. Beads, fabric, yarn, thumbtacks.
MSUM 2000:6.1
10" x 7 1/2" x 9"
   
Photo of a Soft Sclupture tableau
Soft sculpture tableau
A black woman pushing a white child in a stroller is a typical scene of women's everyday life and a clear glimpse of the economic divide between races that still exists, despite the end of apartheid.
Celani Nojiyeza, Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Late 20th c.. Cloth, beads, wire.
MSUM 1999:30.7
4 1/2" x 7 1/2" x 10"
   
Photo of a Coffin scene doll "Coffin Scene"
"This woman went away to a certain ceremony and when she came back there was a coffin in her yard of her husband who left her five years ago." A rural family looks forward to the man of the house returning home for Christmas as it means a happy time and at last some extra cash. Sadly this year he returns home from his work on the mines in Johannesburg in a coffin. AIDS is the cause of his death."
Celani Nojiyeza (Zulu), Ndwedwe region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
2003. Cloth, beads, human hair, tacks.
MSUM 2003:46.7
12 1/2" x 8" x 5 1/2"
   
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