MaXhosa | Justina Blakeney
I’m enamored with the collections of South African knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo. His line, MaXhosa was designed as a knitwear solution to Xhosa initiation rights, that includes a tradition of dressing up in “new dignified formal clothing for six months after initiation.” He incorporates traditional Xhosa beadwork craft, patterns, symbolism and colors into his modern knitwear collection. Gorgeous, yes?
The Xhosa are part of the South African Nguni migration which slowly moved south from the region around the Great Lakes, displacing the original Khoisan hunter gatherers of Southern Africa. Xhosa peoples were well established by the time of the Dutch arrival in the mid-17th century, and occupied much of eastern South Africa from the Fish River to land inhabited by Zulu-speakers south of the modern city of Durban