Muroora (Young Bride)

2021

Verdite

  • 34cm (h)
  • 14cm (w)
  • 29.5cm (d)

12kg

portrait photo of Tutani Mgabazi

Tutani Mgabazi

Sculptor

“She has style – a little of her hair is visible and styled – but she retains her humility.”

Shona culture places great value on a young lady being demure as well as pretty. The frequent theme in Zimbabwean sculpture of the ‘muroora’ expresses the dichotomy neatly. On one hand, it celebrates female beauty in the bloom of youth. On the other, it emphasises subservience and humility in a young woman. When she marries, the muroora leaves her home and joins the household of her husband, where she is likely to be treated not much better than a skivvy by his relatives.

Tutani’s young lady strikes a bold pose, with her flamboyant wrap over her hair and her sharply defined elegant features. Tutani said that the brown colouring on the surface of the raw stone reminded him of the headscarf a muroora might wear. So, he incorporated it into his sculpture.

This glorious bright green stone is verdite, a very hard and expensive semi-precious stone that is much prized by sculptors and collectors alike.