Omusiyiwa (African-Shona)

Omusiyiwa is a member of the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe. He is a carver that focuses his work on the depiction of family. Shona artists and crafts people have been working in different media for generations. These include paintings, pottery, basket ware, wood carvings, and sculpture done in metal as well as the stone carvings. While there is not a long standing tradition of sculpture in what is now Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia), stone carvings dating from the 15th century were seen in Great Zimbabwe, an excavated temple near Bulawayo. Most of the artifacts from this location have been moved to museums in Cape Town, South Africa or London. Much of the stone used by Shona artists is quarried in areas which are adjacent or quite near the villages where the work is created. Often the land on which the stone is found is owned by the village or the local artists. The artists use stone such as Serpentine (somewhat old, having been formed about 2.6 billion years ago), with more than 200 color variations. The hardest and darkest of the Serpentine varieties is black, commonly known as Springstone or Africa stone. Less seen is Lepidolite, with its beautiful pale mauve coloration; and the very hard Verdite, found mostly in darker shades of green but with other variations as well.
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