Lying on a pan of fragmented rock, close to the Botswana border in Namibia, is a small boulder, which looks so different from the surrounding jagged landscape that it appears as if it must have somehow been placed there. The Bushmen or San living in the nearby village of D'kar talk of this rock as being the body of Qauqaua.

Qwaa Mangana
Qwaa Mangana

The artists of the Kuru Art Project have grown up with the story of Qauqaua, which has been told by parents and grandparents. With their traditional way of life changing so rapidly around them, they have decided to preserve this story in a book.

THE ARTISTS: Thamae Setshogo, Coex'ae Qgam, Qwaa Mangana, Cgose Ncoxo, Sobe Sobe, Nxabe Eland, Coex'ae Bob, Qhaeqhao Moses and Thamae Kaashe work primarily with oil on canvas but have also worked with various printing techniques. They have held many successful exhibitions around the world and their work can be found in numerous private and public collections.

LANGUAGES: Qauqaua is printed in English and in Naro, the predominant San language of the Ghanzi area. Until recently Naro was a spoken language only. Linguists Cobi and Hessel Visser from the Netherlands have been transcribing the language. They have published an English/Naro dictionary and are running literacy classes in the village. The orthography that they have developed is understood by the San in D'kar, as well as by Setswana speaking people in Botswana. The Qauqaua story was written down in Naro by Hessel and Cobi and translated in English by the staff of the Kuru Cultural Centre.

Cgose Ncoxo

PRINTING: The images were drawn directly onto the lithographic printing plates by the artists during a collaborative workshop in 1994. Mark Attwood worked with the artists at their studio in D'Kar, proofing the litho plates on an etching press. The drawn plates were taken to Johannesburg where the edition was printed. Each impression was hand inked and printed on a hand-crank litho press. A total of 61 plates were used to complete 11 prints. The text for the book was set in Palatino Roman at The Artists' Press. The linocuts were scanned and combined with the text before being printed on a Vandercook letterpress proof press, to achieve the slightly embossed, tactile quality that distinguishes letterpress printing. One page has been blind embossed.

Dada signing
Coex'ae Qgam

BINDING: The books have been bound in full leather, using goatskins from the Kalahari. These skins have been vegetable tanned in D'Kar, using the Elandsboontjie root. The binding has been done by Peter Carstens in Johannesburg.

PAPER: Printed on 250 gsm Velin Arches white made by the Arjomari mill in France. It is 100% cotton and alkaline buffered to be archival. The natural deckle on the edge of the paper has been kept, with the other two edges being torn, not cut. The paper is watermarked and has a slightly rough texture.

ThamaeINTEGRITY: The best possible materials have been used at every stage of production. The paper is acid free and the inks lightfast. The edition is limited to 100 books plus 20 Artists Proofs. On completion of the edition, the plates were destroyed and no further prints will be made. The lithographs are signed by the artists. 

FURTHER INFORMATION: If you would like to know more about the book, please contact us.

ISBN 0 620 20194 0


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