Zulu ceramics in transition: Siphiwe MaS’Khakhane Nala and her daughter Nesta Landeleni Nala
AbstractSiphiwe Nala (1914–2003) and her daughter Nesta (1940–2005) are widely regarded as the foremost Zulu ceramicists of their time. They formed a partnership from the mid-1950s to the 1970s and it is often difficult to tell their work apart. An increasing international awareness of African art from the late 1970s created an urban market for their work, offering considerably enhanced earnings. This affected the partnership. Siphiwe was respected and well established as the main supplier of beer vessels for her locality. She saw no need to engage with the commercial market. Nesta, on the other hand, was entering the prime of her career, with a rapidly growing family for which she was financially responsible. By the mid-1980s she was working solely for the commercial market, selling her pots mainly through the African Arts Centre in Durban. This paper tries to define the differing aesthetic expectations directed at potters working for an international art market with its emphasis on visual display, and those applied to rural African ‘crafts’ in which the tactile qualities associated with daily use form an important part of the appeal. I try to demonstrate why Nesta and her children proved so spectacularly successful in bridging the cultural divide between these two realms, while most of their contemporaries failed to emancipate themselves from their traditional environment.
How to Cite
Jolles, F. (2012). Zulu ceramics in transition: Siphiwe MaS’Khakhane Nala and her daughter Nesta Landeleni Nala. Southern African Humanities, 25, 1–24. Retrieved from https://sahumanities.org/index.php/sah/article/view/383