MEET THE MAKERS

This month’s featured maker is The Mdukatshani Craft Project

The Mdukatshani Craft Project is based in the Thukula Valley in Kwazulu-Natal. The project originated on the Maria Ratschiltz Catholic Mission, Wasbank in 1967, providing work for families who were living in tents as a result of the large-scale government forced removals of African residents on the mission. Only residents in full time employment were exempt from the removals and so the project was born, creating full time jobs by teaching local residents the crafts of pottery, wool weaving, sewing and beadwork. The project later moved to its present site, one of the poorest and most arid areas of South Africa. The Craft Project remains a source of hope for local Mthembu and Mchunu women. While some of the original beaders are still at work, a new generation have been trained. These highly skilled beaders' work can be seen in galleries throughout the world.

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