Mapula embroidery empowering women in the winterveld

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Mapula meaning 'mother of rain' in Tsonga is an embroidery project in the Winterveld, in South Africa supported by the women's organization Soroptimists International which has enabled women in desperate financial circumstances to earn monies to support themselves and their children. All embroidery is done by hand, and machines are used simply to hem cloths or to stitch fabric into cushion covers or tote bags. Based on a poster educating citizens how to vote, Rossinah Maepa's embroidery include a stylized version of the Union Buildings in Pretoria which is labeled as Voting House and is topped by the new South African flag as well as a multicolored homestead. The project has made embroideries on disasters such as the floods in Mozambique in 2000; the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001; and the tsunami in Asia on December 26, 2004.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Specialist publicationSurface Design Journal
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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