The Venda culture is steeped in the spirit world and finds expression in their arts and crafts. Being highly creative people the Venda people produce many fascinating works and many of the craftsmen being well known worldwide.
The best known of these arts and crafts are clay pots distinctively marked with angular designs in graphite silver and ochre. Also growing in status are woodcarvings which range from abstract to practical.
Our Arts & Crafts day tour is an adventure as craft villages are scattered and some roads poor, so Venda life in general can be experienced in between visiting some of the area's best craftsman.
The one day Venda Arts & Crafts tour includes:
A visit to Elim market to experience vibrant rural life of the Venda and Tsonga people: taxi busses arrive and leave for rural villages; there is a bustling fruit and vegetable market, a hair dresser, local eating places and many other fascinating places to explore.
Leaving Elim we head out to Twananani Textiles, where women make stunning batiks with traditional patterns, bead work and embroidery.
John Baloy’s rural art gallery is the next port of call. John was a famous wood carver who passed away by a car accident some years ago. His gallery is still in place and houses his artwork and sculptures from other wood carvers in the area.
From there it is on to another wood carver, Thomas Kubayi, who makes traditional music instruments such as drums and mariba, as well as carving traditional and contemporary sculptures. At his workshop, Thomas also teaches young people woodcarving skills. This is also the ideal spot to stop for a light lunch as there is a good chance that you will be treated to youngsters in the village making music.
We then visit the Mashamba potters, which is a huge workshop where 50 women make traditional Venda pots and more contemporary pots. All of these pots are naturally fired.
Depending on time and interest you can include Hlamarisa Vuma who is well known for her bead work; David Murathi a woodcarver; Noria Mbasa; or Johannes Maswanganyi and sons who are Tsonga woodcarvers with a completely different style to the Venda.