Headrests of Southern Africa

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Headrests of Southern Africa

Product information

Author: Bruce Goodall

Type: Hardback

ISBN: 9788874399642

Date: 10th January, 2022


  1. Categories

  2. Exhibition Catalogues
  3. African
  4. Decorative Woodwork


Headrests from Southern Africa - The architecture of sleep presents the subject of southern African headrests in a fascinating new light. The book, richly illustrated - often with in situ photographs, offers unique historical and personal information collected from many of the original owners and carvers of the headrests. So, for the first time African headrests are brought to life with detailed information and the stories of their creation, ownership, use and significance. The 438 headrests from the collections of Bruce Goodall from Cape Town and Frédéric Zimer from Paris are presented according to 3 geographical areas: KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo (where the Ntwane people live) and Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland). Since 2003, Goodall has made numerous field trips collecting, as well as interviewing and photographing the owners and carvers of headrests. In 2017, Goodall's collection grew substantially with the purchase of a comprehensive collection of headrests from the Msinga area of KwaZulu-Natal. This collection had been assembled and meticulously documented by the late Anglican priest Clive Newman and his friend and assistant, Mavis Duma, between the late 1980s and the mid-2000s. The Zimer collection has been built up since the 1990s through his many travels in Africa, and his acquisitions from collectors and African art dealers around the world. This publication not only offers insight into the personal and historical dimensions of this important southern African tradition through the text written about the headrests and their owners by Bruce Goodall, but includes essays by Newman, Nel and Leibhammer and a text about collecting by Duma. Together these facilitate a penetrating understanding of these valued items as well as a respectful appreciation of the cultures and individuals who made and used them.

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