Since then, these animals have played an important social and economic role in the development of Zulu, Xhosa, and Swazi societies and are also used as a bride’s dowry. Nguni cattle have strong associations both in name and in physical attributes to their surroundings on the plains of KwaZulu-Natal and Zululand.
These cattle are amongst some of the toughest breeds, being able to survive extremes in climate as well as, at times, very limited and tough grass. The Nguni breed are known for their fertility and resistance to disease, and are characterised by their multicoloured skin which can present many different patterns.
It is these colours and patterns that have caught the imagination of home owners and decorators and today Nguni hides have become a ‘must have’ to a large percentage of South African home owners.
Nguni hides come in an assortment of rich colours and patterns. The more dominant colours being black, white, brown and in less common instances, a combination of all three or dun (also known as yellow).
Each of the varying hide patterns has a name closely associated to an animal, bird, plant or other natural wonder. Although it is not necessarily limited to this natural association, for example, on the odd occasion, a beast may be described by the pattern of the hide itself. Nguni hides are highly functional and are mostly used as “rugs” in homes and furniture coverings as they are both decorative and warm.
In more recent times, hides have been used to manufacture an array of other household items. Our focus at Ngunigalore is less on using the hide itself in creating our product range but more on printing imagery of the cattle to decorate canvas prints for wall art, on cushions, placemats and coasters.
Our focus at Ngunigalore is less on using the hide itself in creating our product range but more on printing imagery of the cattle to decorate canvas prints for wall art, on cushions, placemats and coasters.