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African Painted Houses: Basotho Dwellings of Southern Africa
by: Gary N. Van Wyk
0810919907 / 9780810919907

Book Description:
Prayer and protest come in many guises. The Basotho women of South Africa and Lesotho pray to their ancestors for rain, abundance, and peace by painting and slicing brilliant geometric murals on the mud plaster walls of their houses. "If the prayers are successful," says photographer and author Gary N. van Wyk, "the rains arrive and wash away the paintings." Growing up white under apartheid, van Wyk noticed these vivid houses while traveling with his family through the Highveld below Johannesburg where many Basotho lived and worked on white-owned farms. In the years when links to the outlawed African National Congress party were often severely punished, some Basotho women defiantly splashed their homes with the black, green, and gold colors of the ANC. Van Wyk joined in such protests as an art student by helping paint street murals of state-sanctioned violence. A passion for recording political graffiti led him back to the dwellings decorated in ANC colors, several of which he photographed for this dazzling testament to Basotho lives, ceremonies, history, and art. --Francesca Coltrera

African Painted Houses: Basotho Dwellings of Southern Africa

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