Storage-Rack Panel with Figures and Animals

A work made of boxwood.

Image actions

  • A work made of boxwood.

Date:

Late 1920s/40s

Artist:

Ntzinyanga Qwabe (about 1900–?)
Zulu
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa

About this artwork

Born into a family of carvers, Ntzinyanga Qwabe is well known for sculpting panels for the racks used in a Zulu homestead for storing rolled grass mats or draping blankets. He applied the traditional pokerwork technique (using a heated poker to decorate wood with burn marks) to depict people and scenes of Zulu life on these panels. One presents a cattle kraal (corral) and a seated chief meeting with a group of men.

Produced in the first half of the 20th century, Qwabe’s work captured the attention of white South Africans at a time when rural life was undergoing significant change. Despite the restrictive format, Qwabe’s compositions suggest depth and movement through figures that overlap as well as vary in their scale and position. Contemporary visual sources such as cigarette cards and photographs may have informed his style.

Currently Off View

Arts of Africa

Artists

Ntzinyanga Qwabe , Northern Nguni (Culture)

Title

Storage-Rack Panel with Figures and Animals

Places

South Africa (Object made in), Africa (Object made in), Province of KwaZulu-Natal (Object made in)

Date

1928-1949

Medium

Boxwood

Dimensions

91.4 × 7.6 cm (36 × 3 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Cynthia and Terry E. Perucca and Marshall Field

Reference Number

2009.5

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share