Brewing beer has a long tradition with the Zulus, the largest ethnic group of South Africa. The beverage was traditionally prepared by women at home in ornate ceramic vessels specially made for this purpose. This book aims to present the rich palette of styles of these vessels in all their beauty and to save them from being forgotten.
The colourful history of the Zulus since the early nineteenth century, including the violent racial segregation in recent years, accompanied a golden age of traditional arts and crafts that served as both a bestower of identity and provided a link to their ancestry.
In the Zulu-speaking region there is a wealth of forms and decorative elements that is unprecedented in the ceramic of South Africa. Zulu Beer Vessels documents this influence of colonial politics and of the subsequent apartheid laws on style and prevalence of the popular beer vessels.