Art Of The Day

Happy International Pipe Smoking Day! To celebrate, take a look at this pipe in our permanent collection. Created by a Pondo artist, this pipe is elegantly carved and elaborately beaded. Similar in design to many Xhosa objects, this pipe is the embodiment of a rich history including mass migration, war, and colonial exploitation. 

For centuries, the Pondo (also spelled Mpondo) peoples have occupied the area between the Mtata and Mtamvuna rivers in Eastern province of South Africa. Formerly one of the largest components of the independent republic of Tanskei, this territory was partially reincorporated into Eastern province in 1994 after the end of apartheid. Now, this group of Nguni-speaking people is most famous for the annual Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival, which is held each September and attracts over 15,000 festival-goers. 


Pondo artist, South Africa


, n.d.
Wood, glass, seed beads, cotton fibre, sinue, tin, 11 x 1 x 3 ½ in. (27.9 x 2.5 x 8.9 cm)
Purchased with funds from the Friends of the Museum of Art, 2009. 11h