Cover image for Vanishing cultures of South Africa : changing customs in a changing world
Vanishing cultures of South Africa : changing customs in a changing world
Magubane, Peter.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Rizzoli, 1998.
Physical Description:
168 pages : color illustrations, color map ; 30 cm
The Xhosa -- The Zulu -- The Ndebele -- The Venda -- The Tsonga -- The Basotho -- The Tswana -- The Pedi -- The Ntwana -- The San.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GN656 .M34 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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"With political, social and economic changes transforming South Africa, the age-old ways of life bound to ethnic cultures of the region are slowly fading. In the photographs of the highly acclaimed photojournalist Peter Magubane and a fascinating, sensitive text, Vanishing Cultures of South Africa reveals the ways of the indigenous groups, recording the roots of South African cultural identity." "Ten major ethnic groups are featured - including the San, Zulu, Ndebele, Basotho, and Venda - as well as several smaller sub-groups. This book describes the individual personality and history of each, their education, laws, languages, medicine and magic, and their religion. Over 200 photographs capture the vibrant color of ceremonial and everyday dress and ornamentation, musical instruments, dances and rites of passage, art, homes, and work. The remarkable metal neck rings and the geometrically beaded wire hoops worn by Ndebele and Ntwana women, the sacrificial ceremonies of the Zulu, the long pipes smoked by the Xhosa, and the traditional hunter-gatherer weapons of the San, deep in the Kalahari Desert - the details of today's way of life are recorded here in evocative pictures, while former traditions, now lost, fill the text with the intriguing, vital history of each group." "Vanishing Cultures of South Africa is a cultural record of striking importance, capturing the beauty of the still-meaningful customs and the powerful ties of traditional life."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

These two books, both large and lavish, depict social and cultural life in the various parts of the world through striking color photographs. Eye of the Beholder presents 120 examples of the best work of James L. Stanfield, a staff photographer for National Geographic for 30 years. Stanfield's assignments carried him to many distant locations, and his subjects ranged from the exotic to the familiar. One can dip into this book anywhere and be transported to a different place on any one of the continents, with the exception of Antarctica. Stanfield captures everyday moments of common people as well as grand historical events, such as the coronation of the Shah of Iran and his son. In capturing this sweep, the photographs are engrossing. Thematically, the collection is held together by an interesting biographical essay. An excellent book and a fine tribute to the photographer. In Vanishing Cultures, Magubane documents the customs and traditional beliefs of ten indigenous peoples in his homeland of South Africa. A separate chapter is devoted to each of the peoples, including the Sulus and less well known cultures. Blending a thoughtful description of rituals, religion, artistry, and other aspects of social life, along with an exquisite photoessay, Magubane offers a wonderful introduction to these people. His photographs range from the dramatic action of dances to the quiet dignity of individuals posing in their traditional dress. An excellent example of the best in photojournalism, this deserves a place in public and academic libraries. Stanfield is also recommended for larger public and academic collections of photojournalism.¬ĎRaymond Bial, Parkland Coll. Lib., Champaign, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.