• Short Summary

    A group of 52 young men in their late teens and twenties who live in the African township of Harari, near Salisbury, Rhodesia, work together as a craft co-operative making traditional soapstone sculptures.

  • Description

    A group of 52 young men in their late teens and twenties who live in the African township of Harari, near Salisbury, Rhodesia, work together as a craft co-operative making traditional soapstone sculptures.

    It is one of several self-help ventures which have been established to improve the economic circumstances of the people of Harari, the poorest of the African townships neighbouring on Salisbury. Originally the group was formed by a white priest, Father Patterson, seven years ago, but he died last November.

    His work, however, has been continued by the craftsmen, who formed themselves into a co-operative and run the whole operation without outside assistance. They work for nine hours a day, five days a week, turning out about 150 pieces a day - ranging from small animals and human heads, to large abstract sculptures and chess sets.

    Their main markets are tourists and African curio shops in Rhodesia's towns, and they also export to South Africa. But since Father Patterson died, marketing is their biggest problem as they are not able to approach the same number of white organisations as he did.

    The soapstone sculptors of Harari teach newcomers their craft as they become eligible to join the co-operative. But the waiting list is long as fully-fledged members earn much more money than they could in any other type of employment open to them.

    Soapstone carving has a time-honoured place in southern African art. Old examples have helped date the activities centuries ago of the Shona and the Matabele - the two tribes that make up the African population of Rhodesia.

    SYNOPSIS: A group of 52 young men in their late teens and twenties who live in the African township of Harari, near Salisbury, Rhodesia, work together as a craft co-operative making traditional soapstone figures.

    It is one of several self-help ventures which have been established to improve the economic circumstances of the people of Harari, the poorest of the African townships neighbouring on Salisbury. Originally the group was formed seven years ago by a white priest, Father Patterson, but he died last November.

    However, his work has been continued by the craftsmen, who formed themselves into a co-operative and run the whole operation without outside assistance. They work for nine hours a day, five days a week, turning out about 150 pieces a day - ranging from small animals to large abstract sculptures.

    The soapstone sculptors of Harari teach newcomers their craft as they become eligible to join the co-operative. But the waiting list is long as fully-fledged members earn much more money than they could in any other employment open to them.

    Their main markets are tourists and curio shops in Rhodesia's towns, and they also export to South Africa. But since Father patterson died, marketing is their biggest problem as they are not able to approach the same number of white organisations as he did.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9EIS3Q2OX648GHXE9M5NB3WPN
    Media URN:
    VLVA9EIS3Q2OX648GHXE9M5NB3WPN
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    04/04/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:37:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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