Xhosa Traditional

James Tandi


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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.

Xhosa Traditional by James Tandi

Shona Stone Sculpture

Type of Stone: Verdite

Dimensions: 24 x 12 x 8 inches

The Xhosa people live in Transkei, South Africa, in the land belonging to their ancestors. Most of the traditions and rituals of Xhosa people are all about dress code: the headgear, bracelets, and beads suspended from their bodies. Few words need to be spoken to convey the status of a person in Xhosa society. This piece depicts a Xhosa man wearing his necklace of turquoise beads. This necklace connects him with his ancestors.


James Tandi (1956 - 2020), was born in the Musana district of Zimbabwe. A renowned artist,  James started sculpting at the age of 12 and was taught by his brother, Nicholas (also a renowned artist).

James Tandi specialized in realistic art and mostly focused on figureheads which is a feature of Shona sculptures.

His work is in high demand and held in collections worldwide.

James Tandi will be remembered as a true and dedicated artist by his fellow Shona sculptors and friends.


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.

NOTE: This piece will be shipped by freight, and will require additional information for freight price depending on destination. We will contact you within 24 hours to give you an exact quote for shipping services.

What are Shona Sculptures?

The most dedicated of artists display a high degree of integrity, never copying and still working entirely by hand, with spontaneity and a confidence in their skills, unrestricted by externally imposed ideas of what their "art" should be. Now, over fifty years on from the first tentative steps towards a new sculptural tradition, many Zimbabwean artists make their living from full-time sculpting and the very best can stand comparison with contemporary sculptors anywhere else.

The sculpture they produce speaks of fundamental human experiences - experiences such as grief, elation, humor, anxiety, and spiritual search - and has always managed to communicate these in a profoundly simple and direct way that is both rare and extremely refreshing.

The artist 'works' together with his stone, and it is believed that 'nothing which exists naturally is inanimate' - it has a spirit and life of its own. One is always aware of the stone's contribution in the finished sculpture and it is indeed fortunate that in Zimbabwe a magnificent range of stones are available from which to choose: hard black springstone, richly colored serpentine and soapstones, firm grey limestone and semi-precious Verdite and Lepidolite.


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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