Artist Profiles


ZuluGal Retro




South Africa


ZuluGal Retro



Medium of Work:

Beaded necklaces, bracelets, accessories, animals and eyeglasses

Year(s) Attended:

Santa Fe: 2018, 2019


Based in Durban, in the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa, ZuluGal Retro was founded in 2014 by artist Nozipho Zulu. As both a creative and social enterprise, the group works with young people who have learning disabilities and special needs by equipping them with art and craft skills, enabling them to earn income from their work. Additionally, ZuluGal Retro provides a platform of exposure to different groups of self-employed crafters and artists (with and without disabilities) from around KwaZulu Natal.

Beaded glasses are produced by young beaders living in the rural Ndwedwe area of KwaZulu Natal. These artists initially learned traditional Zulu beading methods at home, taught by their mothers; they use these skills and techniques to embellish frames of sunglasses. This process begins with purchased spectacle frames, embellished with colors and patterns inspired by traditional Zulu beading methods.

Other items produced by the group include whimsical beaded animal sculptures which are all handmade in galvanized wire, thread and glass beads. Wearable accessories included beaded hats, necklaces, cuffs, and belts.