Phumalanga Swaziland Swazi Hand Wool Tapestry
Late 20th century hand-spun and dyed mohair yarn tapestry, woven in Swaziland by the 'Phumalanga' weaving workshop. Includes display rod
Measures 67” x 34”
Swazi Phumalanga tapestries are handwoven textiles that originate from the small, landlocked kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) in Southern Africa.
The tapestries are handwoven from mohair yarn, produced from the silky and long fibers of Angora goat fleece. These goats are primarily bred for their high-quality hair, which is carefully sheared and processed. The shearing process is typically done every six to eight months, and the collected hair is sorted and cleaned to remove any impurities. Once the yarn is spun, the weaving process begins. It is labor-intensive and time-consuming, with each tapestry taking several weeks or even months to complete, depending on size and complexity.
Phumalanga tapestries are characterized by their intricate and colorful designs, which often depict scenes from Swazi folklore, mythology, and daily life.
The word "Phumalanga" means "coming together" in the SiSwati language, reflecting the communal nature of this art form. These high-quality tapestries are not only a source of income for many artisans but also a means of preserving and passing down the cultural heritage of the Swazi people.