KwaZulu-Natal

The weather was not the best for taking photographs .. but the scenery was fantastic.


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Wide open countryside .. with flat-topped
Acacia thorn trees much in evidence.



We received advice from well-meaning .. but slightly paranoid .. white friends in Pretoria, to beware of dangers and drive with locked doors and closed windows, when in ZwaZulu-Natal. However, as I had suspected, we found the local Zulus in village communities to be very welcoming and had no problems with anyone at all. IMHO mutual respect is always the way.


Always on the lookout for original trade beads and traditional items, we asked some children if they knew of anyone who had some old beads for sale. They introduced us to their Grandmother and the rest of the family, most of whom were shivering in the cold and damp weather.


Grandma welcomed us into her circular concrete hut .. which had a fire blazing away in the centre, chickens and goats wandering in and out and precious little else in the way of furniture.
Friends arrived with a small selection of Masinga collar necklaces .. not in perfect condition, but 50-60 years old, judging by the type of early Czech beads which they had been made from.



Modern Zulu armbands and varied decorative beadwork were to be found on all the markets.
Examples of old and new can be seen in the
South African section of African Trade Beads.com



Townships were well scattered amongst large areas of grazing land


Many houses had large gardens with fertile-looking soil prepared for planting