Kuru Art - Contemporary San Art

    Ncõx’ae Ntcubi

(1968 - )

Ncox’ae was a cleaner at the Kuru Cultural Centre since 1991. Being passionate about her culture, she took part in all the activities at the centre. Here she participated in programmes teaching traditional knowledge to children in D’Kar and at schools all over Botswana. She became a member of the Naro Giraffe Dance group, a traditional dance group based in D’Kar. Together with this group she has travelled to Norway, Sweden and Germany for performances. Today the Naro Giraffe Dance Group often performs for tourists at various lodges in the Ghanzi area. She is also a good guide, who can take people on bush walks to learn about edible and medicinal plants and other bush skills. At the Kuru Cultural Centre Ncox’ae took part in the organisation of the first Kuru Dance Festival held in D’Kar in 1997. Since then she has been an active participant in more than 20 of these festivals. While working at the Kuru Cultural Centre, she attended a Fabric Paint workshop, where they have made beautiful hand painted curtains for the offices and church in D’Kar. When she resigned from her job at the Cultural Centre in later years, she continued with Fabric painting at the Kuru Art Project. In 2017 she entered one of her hand painted and embroidered cloths in the Botswana National competitions and won the second prize for the region of Ghanzi in the category. In 2018 she walked away with the first prize in the Ghanzi region.

    Ncõx’ae Cukuri

( 1963 - )

Nconxae grew up on a farm close to D’Kar. She enjoyed life on the farm, but growing older there were no opportunities for her to work there. She came to live in D’Kar as a young woman with one child. Today she has ten children and still lives in D’Kar where she is happy. In D’Kar she eventually went to a workshop at the Kuru Art Project, to learn how to paint on cloth. She became skilled in the flour resist method which characterised most of her cloths. In later years she also experimented to embroider on the painted cloths with tiny stiches. These made the most exquisite pieces. She won a first prize in the Botswana National Art and Craft competitions for the region around Ghanzi in 2018.

    B. B. Mango (Bruce)

(1994 - )

Bruce was born and grew up in D’Kar. He was interested in art from a very young age and decided to learn whatever he could about it. He comes from an artistic family known for their musical talent and art. His grandmother Coex’ae Bob is also an artist at the Kuru Art Project. As a young musician, he can play both the guitar and key board. He composes and sings his own songs, and although a child of the present, he has great respect for his culture and the past traditions of his people. Therefore he prefers to sing in Naro (his mother tongue) rather than in English. He is part of the group called “The Unique Naro Boys” from D’Kar. He states that he is a born again Christian and having been able to become an artist at the Kuru Art Project, gave him great satisfaction. For the first time in his life, he is now able to earn something from his art. For this he is very thankful.

    Xgara Qoma

( 1952 - )

Although he was born in D’Kar, Xgara spend his childhood on different farms in the area. Growing older, he worked as a farm labourer putting up fences. Apart from his artistic talent Xgara is also a good musician and traditional dancer. He loves the traditional music of his people and is a very good thump piano player. On the farms he learned to play the guitar and even played in a group providing music for dancing during New Year’s parties on the large free hold farms in past years. In 1997 he returned to D’Kar where he became a member of the Naro Giraffe Dance Group, a traditional dance group performing in D’Kar and for tourists in the area. Over the past years, he got several prizes for his music in the regional competitions for the Ghanzi district. In 2018 he got the chance he was waiting for, when he was accepted as an artist in the Kuru Art Project. He feels that he has to learn a lot more as an artist although his work display great originality and promise. He took part in the exhibition “Off Elands and giraffes and helicopters and tea cups …………… and the first peoples of the Kalahari” in November 2018.

    Ncg’abe Tãse (Nxabe)

(1956 - )

Ncg’abe is one of the first Kuru artists still with us today. She joined the Kuru Art Project in 1992 together with her close friend Cg’ose Ntcox’o. Her husband, Xgaiga Qhomatcã, is also an artist at the Kuru Art Project. Apart from visual art, Ncg’abe is a keen traditional dancer and musician and she and Xgaiga are founder members of the Nharo Giraffe Dance Group. Although she also makes beautiful linoleum prints, etchings and lithographs, Ncg’abe prefers to work with oil paint on canvas. The large-scale canvasses give her more freedom and directness, which is difficult to get with the printmaking techniques. She loves the strange combinations of plants, birds and other creatures like snakes and insects on her canvasses. The leaves, twigs and creatures in her art sometimes form abstract patterns with great appeal. She also depicts beadwork patterns and the patterns on the shaved skin aprons, which she remembers her grandmothers had made.

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