One of the traditional products made by Zulu craftsmen is wood carving. One of the things they excel at is the carving of beautiful wooden spoons.
Most traditional households made their own domestic utensils. Some were for daily use and others for special occasions.
Th wives of polygymous households took pride in the expertise of the woodcarvers commissioned by their husbands to produce utensils associated their particular ildlu. Status within the household affected by the intimate involvement of the quality of the domestic objects supplied by the wife. The criteria applied by the husband would be quite different to those applied by the subsequent collectors of these traditional household utilitarian objects that after time have become highly collectible artifacts.
Wooden spoons had a particular pride of place in the sharing of food with friends and family. The presentation of fine household objects would almost certainly elevate the social profile of the husband within the community, especially among the men.
Spoons were most often carried on a little hand woven grass pouch Impontshi. Should the men attend a male only ceremony, his spoon and pouch, a pot of sorghum beer in a fine clay beer pot Ukhamba, would be hugely socially beneficial to the status of the husband and intern on the entire household.
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