Arts & Craft in Xhosa Culture


The following are the main types of art in the Xhosa culture:

Beading: Beadwork in the Xhosa culture includes jewellery, bags, belts, traditional clothing, and other items such as smoking pipes. Xhosa beadwork is not seen only as an art but provides a sense of belonging and identity. It is steeped in symbolism, meaning, and history. Local women practice it to keep the tradition alive. It is also a means of income for most homesteads. Social identities, age, marital status, and gender could be discerned by the patterns of beadwork worn. 

Pottery: The Xhosa people make clay pots for carrying water and cooking. 

Weaving: In the Xhosa culture, men are regarded as the head of the house. In the past, Cape women (In the Eastern parts) were not allowed to work. Their duty was to take care of the homestead and children. They would form a group of women, teach each other all crafts, including basket weaving, hats, mats, and bags, and sell them at the market or to tourists to generate income.

Gourd: This was used in making the calabash to preserve the fermented milk/sour cream. The fermented milk is preserved for approximately a week without spoiling and eaten with umphokoqo (crusty dried pap). 


The Xhosa people are invested in their song, rhythm, and dance and are committed to keeping the culture alive for generations. It is evident in the way they train their young in traditional dances.