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KEISKAMMA TAPESTRY

In April 2004, I was asked to help with the assembly of the Keiskamma Tapestry. It was a project inspired and started by Carol Hofmeyr in Hamburg, in the Eastern Cape. My brief was to find a simple and effective way to join the pieces of the tapestry that had been embroidered by women in the local community.  Fortunately the ‘time line’ (it portrays highlights in the history of the Xhosa people in the Eastern Cape) had already been established before we started, by using numbers on each piece of embroidered fabric.  Having helped with the first 20 metre section, and leaving measurements and procedures in place, I left the group of extraordinary, dedicated women to continue with another five 20 metre lengths. The tapestry is now the longest tapestry in the world…120 metres and hangs in the Parliament Buildings in Cape Town.


Pinning the first
pieces together


Carol holding one end of the first section

On the banks of the Keiskamma River, the first 20 metres…..
another 100 metres to follow