The Versatility of Gourds
Arts and Crafts in Rural South Africa

©Dr Peter Magubane
To this day, many rural women grow gourds. Used as eating and drinking bowls or for storage, these gourds are valued because they are completely impermeable. Even so, gourds crack easily if dropped or bumped against other gourds.

©Dr Peter Magubane
Gourds are often decorated with abstract patterns which vary in style from one community to another. Once engraved, these decorative designs are accentuated by having soot or shoe polished rubbed into the grooves.

By Professor Sandra Klopper