Mdukatshani, more than 50 years of African beading
The Mdukatshani Craft Project is based in the Thukela Valley , KwaZulu-Natal, working with Mthembu and Mchunu women to produce a variety of articles in beads, copper wire, and precious metals. The project originated on the Maria Ratschitz Catholic Mission, Wasbank, in 1967, providing work for families who were living in tents as a result of large-scale government forced removals. In 1975 the project moved to its present site - one of the poorest and most arid areas of South Africa. There have been many changes in the past 45 years, but the craft project has remained a source of hope for local women. While some of our original beaders are still at work, a new generation has been trained, a disciplined group of younger women who are creating jewellery and bowls which are exhibited and sold in galleries across the world. ( The Mdukatshani Craft Project is a Not-for-Profit which has always been staffed by volunteers).