The Ndebeles are an African ethnic group living in South Africa and Zimbabwe known for their artistic talent, especially with regard to their painted houses and colorful beadwork. Not much is known about them, except that they originated from the larger Nguni tribes who make up almost two thirds of the black population in South Africa. Ndebeles are thought to have travelled from Natal to the Transvaal region and settled near Pretoria in the 16th century. Rivalry between families caused one group of Ndebele to go farther north into Zimbabwe. Of the groups that stayed in South Africa, the Manala and the Ndzundza, it is the latter who developed abstract house-painting schemes and who are recognized globally as the Ndebele of South Africa.

 

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Women at the Ndebele Cultural Village, Loopspruit, Gauteng, South Africa. Photo credit