Foster Siamwaka

Foster Siamwaka

Ila Head

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Foster Siamwaka was born in 1967 married with 3 children, born in the family of 7 and he is the 4th born of the family who is taking care of his late siblings’ children.

 Foster started to carve wood at the age of 12 years and has continued in this trade for 40 years. He prefers to work in ebony because it has a nice colour and the work lasts a long time. He sells his work at his shop at Mukuni Victoria Falls curio market. Through this business he has sent his children to school and also built a house for his family.

 “It is becoming more difficult to find good wood and I usually have to walk a long distance to access the big trees. I can’t find ebony anymore in the forests close to me.”

 Foster expects to benefit from this work by receiving a large sum of money at once and that he can sort out some family problems. He feels happy that is work is being erected at the Civic Centre and his work will be exposed to many people.

 “I selected the lla Head as my sculpture because it has a lot of meaning in our village as it reminds us as to how our ancestors used to dress when they went hunting.” 

 The sculpture reminds us of how people of Southern Province tied their hair forming one tall piece of hair called “isusu” when they went hunting. The isusu was meant to help them to see fellow hunters as they walked through tall elephant grass. In the tall hair they also tied in seed so that when the tribal wars were complete, they could start to grow food at the place where they settled.

 “This is my first time for my entire life to experience such great opportunity for my work to be shown publicly and erected at the Civic Centre”


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