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"The day we die a soft breeze will wipe out our footprints in the sand. When the wind dies down,
who will tell the timelessness, that once we walked this way in the dawn of time?"

Bushman wisdom

The IK Foundation Bushman Art Collection, is a collection of !Xu and Khwe folk art from the first generation of the Schmidtsdrift camp in the northern part of the Cape Province in South Africa. The collection comprises one hundred or so art works including linoleum cuts and gouache and oil paintings. The works, which are typical of this remarkable environment, have broken with tradition and are new and vibrant. The inspiration lies in yearning and despair, myth and novelty, colourfulness and subtle story telling - they are not an extension of primitive or primordial art. Over 100 years ago, the beautiful rock paintings of the Kalahari Desert were also painted by the San people, so the question to ask is, has new ground been broken or has lost ground been reclaimed?


Bushmen was the name the European colonials used to describe the most ancient of the African races. For instance, in the 18th century, Anders Sparrman, the naturalist and Linnaeus apostle, described the Bushmen in his travel journal from South Africa as - a rather short and light skinned people.


In the 1990s, approximately 5 500 people from the !Xu and Khwe tribes moved from Angola and settled in Schmidtsdrift camp - a canvas town. An art centre was established in 1993 to help these alienated peoples. The intention was to fill a cultural and social vacuum and give substance and meaning to their shattered lives.


The first generation of modern San art immediately awoke great interest and there have been a number of exhibitions in South Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. The IK Foundation Bushman Art Collection is a collection of works from eight artists born between 1927 and 1960. The works were all produced between 1993 and 1995. As such it is more that a unique collection of international interest, it is also an important documentation of an aboriginal people! The exhibition is well suited to art galleries and museums of ethnography.

The IK Foundation Bushman Art Collection includes works by:

Joao Wenne Dikuanga,
born in Quito, Angola in 1927.
Originally a hunter-gatherer.

Monto Masako,
born in Angola in the 1940s.

Freciano Ndala,
born in Quando, Angola in 1947.
Originally a hunter-gatherer. Taught by his father to make bows and arrows - a source for later inspiration and income.

Julietta Carimbwe,
born in Mavinga, Angola in 1960.
As a child her mother taught her how to make articles with beads and pearls, build huts and gather animal feed.

Katunga Carimbwe,
born in Mavinga, Angola in 1958.
Originally a hunter-gatherer. Married to Julietta Carimbwe.

Stefanus Samcuia,
Born in Eenana, Namibia in 1951.
Originally a hunter-gatherer.

Fulai Shipipa,
born in Longa, Angola in 1954.
Originally a hunter-gatherer and mango farmer.

Bernardo (Thaalu) Rumao,
born in Rivungu, Angola in 1960.
His parents died in a local war and he was raised by his older sister. Although city dwellers they lived by farming.

Alouis Sijaja,
born in the 1950s in Angola.


SAN of Southern Africa
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