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Communities Uniting to Confront HIV/AIDS in Africa:

Materials from the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies

TAPESTRIES

The art of embroidery and quilt-making in Southern Africa has a history of reflecting social change. Artists continue portraying current issues through their art, expressing how people and communities cope with HIV/AIDS. Messages of awareness, choice, prevention, and solidarity appear on these tapestries.

Click on the images to view full size.

embroidery

South Africa - Dorcas Ngobeni

Artist Dorcas Ngobeni conveys messages of safe sexual practices with this embroidery, including monogamy and condom use.

Size: 33 x 31 cm

embroidery

South Africa

This embroidery includes a message addressed to Jane, warning her about AIDS and asking that she use condoms if she does not trust her partner. The piece also includes the telephone number to the South African AIDS helpline.

Size: 37 x 33 cm

embroidery

South Africa

"Get wise condomise" is the message stitched on this embroidery.

Size: 40 x 31 cm

sida cloth

Mozambique

Cloth printed with AIDS awareness and prevention messages in French and English. Distributed by the Programa de Controlo de DTS/HIV/SIDA, an AIDS organization in Mozambique.

Size: 184 x 110 cm

sida cloth

Mozambique

The same pattern as the cloth above, only with a different color scheme. This cloth was also distributed by the Programa de Controlo de DTS/HIV/SIDA.

Size: 184 x 110 cm

beaded quilt

South Africa - Jane Makhubele

Artist Jane Makhubele depicts messages of abstinence and fidelity as methods of AIDS prevention. The quilt uses a style of beadwork common among the Tsonga people. Makhubele has produced beaded cloths for over 15 years. Her work has documented the political and social change in South Africa over this period.

Size: 148 x 112 cm

quilt

South Africa - Chivirka Group
HIV/AIDS is Our Concern

Quilt comprised of 117 unique tiles, each expressing different messages about HIV/AIDS. The quilt was made by the Chivirka Group, a women's collective based in the village of Mpambo in Limpopo Province. This piece is made with cloth similar to that of a nceka, a type of clothing worn by Tsonga women.

Size: 234 x 216 cm

quilt tile

South Africa - Chivirka Group
HIV/AIDS is Our Concern

One tile from the Chivirka quilt suggesting people support, not abandon, individuals with AIDS.

Size: 12 x 24 cm

quilt tile

South Africa - Chivirka Group
HIV/AIDS is Our Concern

This tile tells people to educate themselves about AIDS.

Size: 12 x 24 cm

quilt tile

South Africa - Chivirka Group
HIV/AIDS is Our Concern

Pictures two people caring for an individual with AIDS, advocating that communities come together to care for people affected with the disease.

Size: 12 x 24 cm

Background information regarding these tapestries courtesy of Craft Art in South Africa, by Elbe Coetsee, published in 2002. Addition information supplied by Henrietta Dax, Clarke's Bookshop in Cape Town, South Africa.

Melville J. Herskovits
Library of African Studies

Northwestern University
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-2300

Reference Desk Phone: 847-467-3084
Office Phone: 847-491-7684
Fax: 847-467-1233
E-mail: africana@northwestern.edu