Arts and Crafts in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean art and crafts have long been a central and sophisticated part of the countries cultural heritage. The arts and craft economic sector of the country provides many people with employment opportunities, especially in rural areas. The strong creative flair and unique aesthetic developed by Zimbabwean people and implemented in both practical and religious objects has created a demand for Zimbabwean art through out the world.

In addition, arts and crafts are a wonderful way to preserve ancient cultural heritage. The country, once the domain of bushmen, has over 15000 sites (such as cave walls and cliffs) which display ancient cave paintings. Bags, blankets, headdresses, fertility emblems and many more items from that time period have been preserved in various museums around the country in order to display the ancient art and craft common in Zimbabwe.

Modern Zimbabwean art is equally as renowned. Some examples of this include the famous Zimbabwean stone sculpture, usually carved from sedimentary rocks, like soapstone, or harder igneous rocks such as serpentine and rare stones. In Harare alone, there are several sculpture gardens in which visitors can view and buy the remarkable works of art, the most famous of which is Chapungu sculpture park

The leather industry is another of the flourishing creative trades found in Zimbabwe, with 5600 people employed by as skillful craftsmen and 8 tanneries in the country. Footwear is an especially prominent product, with 12 well respected manufactures known. Work in exotic leather, such as crocodile and buffalo skin, is a factor that makes Zimbabwe’s leather trade unique.

Other modern arts and crafts found are pottery, basketry, textile, jewelry and woodcarving, all of which are displayed in galleries and shops such as the National Gallery in both Bulawayo and Harare and a variety of private institutions. Zimbabwean art is much sort after all over the world, thus there is ample business opportunity for those who want to buy and sell into the Zimbabwean arts and craft sector. For this reason, countries of South Africa, Singapore, USA, China and Canada have been especially active in trade with Zimbabwe 

Publish Date: Tuesday 20 September 2016



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