Rural women perform strenuous physical activities, including fetching water ands collecting materials to build or maintain homesteads.
Thatching grass and reeds are used in the construction not only of roofs, but also of grain stores and other enclosures.
The pride women generally take in cleaning their homes extends to the practice of sweeping courtyards and other areas close by. Traditionally, the brooms used for this task are made from thatching grass or from twigs and saplings harvested from shrubs and trees.
Most rural women around South Africa are involved in everyday tasks such as cooking, attending to the needs of children and sweeping the courtyards of their homes. Some of them nevertheless manage to devote time to adorning the walls and floors of homestead courtyards with designs that underline their pride in their role as homemakers.
By Professor Sandra Klopper