Rhino Bird

Sylvester Mubayi


The heart of Africa can be found in our stone sculptures.


When you buy a Moyo piece, you are not just buying stone, but your own piece of history, a piece of modern contemporary art with an African flair.

Collections: Shona Sculptures, Sylvester Mubayi

Rhino Bird by Sylvester Mubayi

Shona Stone Sculpture

Type of stone: Spring Stone

Dimensions: 18 x 5 x 9 inches

The veteran artist believes that it's the responsibility of the artist to visualize, imagine and dream and then bring it into physical existence. To the artist, if the rhino were a bird, this is what it would look like. He depicts the unnatural and the surreal, derived from the folk tales which are very common among the Shona people and are passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth.


Sylvester Mubayi is a first-generation artist, born in 1942 in the Chihota District, East of Harare, Zimbabwe. He left school when he was 16, and 11 years later, his life was completely transformed when he met Tom Bloomfield, who offered him the chance to try his hand at sculpture at Tengenenge, a community of Sculptors established in 1966. Later, he moved to Harare where he sought the help of Frank McEwen, the director of the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe, where he worked for a while at the National GalleryÕs Workshop School. Characteristics of MubayiÕs style are rounded, self contained silhouettes with highly polished surfaces. His faces usually have an innocent simple expression. He has been a major contributor to the reputation of Shona Sculpture and has won the Ernst Oppenheimer Award in South Africa in 1969 and was described by a leading French critic as Òthe bestÓ at the Musee Rodin exhibition in Paris in 1971. Sylvester Mubayi was also included as one of the top ten Sculptors in the World by the Guardian in 1991. His work is in the Atlanta Airport as part of ÒZimbabwe Sculpture, A Tradition in StoneÓ display, and is highly collectable. Sylvester currently lives and works in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe.


Every sculpture is made from natural stone and varies slightly due to the nature of the stone and natural grain which is part of the stone. Some stones will contain inclusions, pits, or fissures as a result of its geological formation. The natural recurring iron/seaweed strata lines in the stone give the stone its character and makes it unique.

Natural lines are colorful lines formed within the stone. These are not flaws, but rather signifies the authenticity of the product. Only skilled sculptors are able to work with the stone due its hardness. The stone can withstands harsh weather conditions and can be placed in a natural environment.


NOTE: Typically your sculpture will ship within 2-3 days after you've placed your order.

Where the Stone is Found

The typical Shona stone is an abundant material in Zimbabwe, with much of the stone coming from the counties “Great Dyke”. This geological formation which stretches along Lake Kariba on Zimbabwe's southern border with Zambia contains some 375 minerals plus fossils dating back 500 million years ago

Shona sculptures come in many shapes and sizes, as they are usually carved from pieces of stone that vary considerably. The stones most often used in Shona sculpture are sandstone, serpentine and granite.

How The Sculptures Are Created