Matobo Hills, December 12, 2018– United States Ambassador Brian A. Nichols participated in a ceremony to launch a publication, documenting Ndebele traditional hut decoration in Matobo Hills. The U.S. embassy is leading efforts to preserve Zimbabwe’s rich cultural heritage and supports preservation of Zimbabwean art as part of expanded engagement between the United States and Zimbabwe.
In 2016, the State Department Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation awarded $42,000 to the National Gallery of Zimbabwe to document Ndebele traditional hut decoration, including a book on Ndebele art. The book documents the external and internal art, architecture, and decoration of Ndebele homes through schematic drawings and photographs. It highlights the significance of these forms in the context of culture, environment, and local Ndebele history.
The book launch event was held at the Amagugu International Heritage Center in Matobo Hills, Matabeleland South (35 kilometers south of Bulawayo) where decorated residences are most prevalent. Amagugu International Heritage Center organizes a variety of cultural, educational and recreational programs.
The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation assists individuals and organizations to preserve museum collections, ancient and historic sites, and traditional forms of expression, and thereby helps reinforce cultural identity and community solidarity.
Over the past decade, the United States has supported several projects to preserve Zimbabwe’s rich cultural heritage, including the Great Zimbabwe National Monuments and the Great Zimbabwe Museum and the Naletale National Monument.