A Treasured Object

Before writing my piece for “It’s Write Easy,”(my Friday writing group) I would think about what I want to write. It can take some days before I’ll sit down and start writing. It was the same this week. At first, I thought about the object that I wanted to use. I kept on thinking about the item and what I wanted to write about it.

I looked up some history and where my object came from. *

It is a trinket decorated with beads in a traditional Ndebele pattern. I looked up trinket first to see if I could use it. Meaning of trinket in English. A small decorative object or a piece of jewellery that is cheap or of low quality.

To me, this trinket is one of the precious objects that I treasure. A special lady made the beadwork herself. She was our washing lady in South Africa from 1960 to1980. Johanna was a proud Ndebele. She decorated three trinkets with traditional beadwork. She gave my older sister, me and younger sister each one when we left home. Johanna and I had a close relationship because I usually helped her with the washing and cleaning. She made me an extra typical Ndebele girl to hang in my car, meant for luck. 

Thinking back about how we appreciated each other brought back fond memories of my days growing up on the farm.

…….. …… …… …… ……

*Ndebele- Nguni tribe Limpopo(Transvaal) and Mpumalanga(Laeveld)


Using a chicken feather rather than a paintbrush, Mahlangu applies thick black outlines and vivid colors. She creates her compositions without the help of preliminary drawings or a ruler for straight lines, painting freehand with incredible precision, and deciding on the shades as she proceeds. As with a younger generation of artists, Mahlangu may use acrylic paint today, which opened up an entirely new color palette, but when she first started, she worked with natural pigments she made herself and cow dung, limited to yellow, white, ocher, black and red hues. “Acrylic paints have allowed me to use many more colors than I could have with natural pigments,” she notes. “What many find interesting about my artworks is that although they are based on traditional Ndebele designs, they are still very modern and current. They can fit into a home or office anywhere in the world and don’t appear dated.” This move to blend tradition and modernity has elevated the art and helped to showcase the Ndebele people’s contribution to contemporary art

This is how I remember Johanna.


9 responses to “Creative Writing: A treasured object”

  1. michelleperram Avatar

    Reminds me of Native American kachina dolls. Beautiful


    1. scrapydo2.wordpress.com Avatar

      I still treasure it because it was given out of love and appreciation. I quickly looked up the kachina dolls, it is kind of the same but made using beads.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aletta - nowathome Avatar

    Dis so kleurvol!!


    1. scrapydo2.wordpress.com Avatar

      Beslis en trek ‘n mens se aandag.


  3. Dr Christa van Staden Avatar

    Pragtige handwerk


    1. scrapydo2.wordpress.com Avatar

      Dankie ons het as kinders saam met die vroue gesit en kralewerk doen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. bushboy Avatar

    I am in awe of such wonderful art work and colour. Thanks for sharing this house of beauty. Much love to Mahlangu 🙂 🙂


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