Monday, January 25, 2010

Beaded Ndebele Dolls (uphophi)

Mama Freemman
brought in two of her special Ndebele dolls called uphophi -
These dolls are created with a cloth base and then very fine imported seed beads in multiple colors are strung to fashion the dolls in beaded clothing from head to toe. These examples are from the mid-20th century and display the popular beaded aprons that are worn by Ndebele woren. We don't know the artists' names who created them, but they are very fine indeed. The students used them as 3-D models to create their own drawings using various lines and color to create a 2-D rendering of one of the dolls. Notice the geometric designs that mirror the ones on our wall paintings that we are studying. Object-based learning and storytelling are part of the process...more on that later.

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