Mbhokota is an area rich with talent, but it is experiences which make the Route come alive. This is not a passive experience – visiting the Ribola Art Route is an interaction, which draws you into the lives of these talented artists, musicians and crafters. Feel like a local, make connections and create experiences you will remember for a lifetime.
If you want to embrace your creative side, why not try your hand at making a cloth at Twananani Textiles. You can not only buy hand-painted cloth, sarongs and tablecloths, Batik cloths, laptop bags, traditional clothing, cushions and more but the Twananani team will also teach you to draw, wax and paint a cloth of your very own.
From the moment you arrive at Twananani Textiles on the Ribola Art Route, near Elim, in the Soutpansberg, you feel warmly welcomed. Amu, Ma Florence, Ma Evelyn and the other women of the Twananani co-operative have big smiles and open hearts. As you step into the Aladdin’s cave of crafts, you can only be enchanted by the colourful batik and hand-painted tablecloths, sarongs and skirts or the hand-stitched, beaded cushions.
Amu, with her big personality and infectious laugh, explains the art of batik printing, practised by this co-operative for over a decade. The beautiful, home-made stamps are used to make cloths of every colour by the talented group of women.
Amu pulls you over to the work-table where she explains how you are going to make your own unique cloth. It is a fun and fabulous process of tracing and drawing your design; outlining the picture in heated wax and then choosing your own palette of colours to paint your creation. The festive atmosphere of people coming together to create magic is electric. Laughter and song fill the air as you gather around the wax pot or sit on the floor with your teacher and enjoy the tactile hands-on experience of painting an ‘original’.
These dynamic, creative tours are flexible in length and product, depending on your group, how much time you have, your interest/level of expertise and your pocket.
To make a pot, cloth, sculpture or jewellery, ideally, you would spend from 2 – 3 hours to half a day but if you really want to connect creatively, you can book a one-day or two-day tour through LOVE LIMPOPO.