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Zulucow’s unique, high quality, cowhide rugs are derived from South Africa’s indigenous Nguni cattle.
For centuries these beautiful cattle have been bred primarily as a source of protein, but the Zulus have also bred them for their beautiful colouring and dramatic markings for amongst other things: ceremonial clothing. Nothing in South Africa goes to waste; the hides are a natural by-product of the meat industry.
The Nguni are part of a rich Zulu culture; with their hides not only being used for shields, ceremonial clothing and rugs, but they are also celebrated in the Zulu’s poetry and storytelling . The hides’ beauty is valued to such an extent that the Zulus have named them according to their natural surroundings. For example, they name a hide which is mainly white with black flecks: ‘Inasenezimbukane’ (flies in butter) and another hide resembling skylark eggs, they call: ‘imaqandakahuye’ “The eggs of the sky lark”.
Today the Zulus are deriving skills and a sustainable income from the Nguni, as a result of jobs created not only in crafting Zulucow’s bags, belts, cushions, but also in tanning. I select each hide individually and we are careful that nothing goes to waste. Off-cuts are used for door-stops, key rings, purses and smaller items. With an increased concern for the sustainability and provenance of what we buy, I’m proud to say that Zulucow’s range is made from by-products of a traditional food industry in South Africa.
One of the core brand values of Zulucow; is that all our cowhide rugs and cowhide products are sustainable, made to last and don’t impact the environment.