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Jemma Thorpe

Londolozi Creative Hub

Jemma grew up on a farm in the Midlands Meander in Kwa-Zulu Natal and studied at the University of Cape Town. With little bush experience but with many hours of au pairing, teaching English and forming a love for travel, Jemma found herself ...

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on The Fascinating Symbolism of Feathers

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This is such a lovely blog Jemma. Love stoties about African culture. I collect the feathers of the purple crested Turaco whenever I find one in my garden.

Thank you for this informative article. I won’t look at bird’s plumage again without thinking about the reasons for their feathers and also how they can be used in various cultures.

Fascinating to learn about the African feather legacy. Frankly I’m not surprised since the most beautiful birds I’ve ever seen reside in Africa. The kaleidoscope of their colors is sometimes unbelievable! When I was younger and foolishly naive, I “assumed” the bounty of all animals and birds would somehow magically continue. That thought was shelved years ago as hunting and poaching has sadly brought many animals to the point of near extinction. But what about African birds? Are they thriving and less hunted (not speaking of the need for food or nature’s cycle), but for feathers? I hope all is well in that area. Recently I saw a lady in an elegant ball gown. Her wrap was an exquisite cape of floating down-like feathers that wafted in the air as she walked by. Simply beautiful …. until I thought of the number of birds it took to make that cape. My mouth went dry. Hopefully African bird life is thriving and the only thing shooting them is the camera.

Feathers play an important role in Hawai’ian culture …from capes for royalty to headpieces. Lei were made from them. Even now hat/head bands are created from feathers.

I have a tattoo of a Purple Crested Turaco on my arm along with the name that Zulu trackers gave me, Gwalla-Gwalla.

Hi Arden.
I remember that tattoo! When are you back for a visit?
Best regards

Thank you so much, Jemma! So interesting. The photos are lovely too. I know the Knysna Turaco but I didn’t know the Londolozi one. I have never seen this bird in the bush. I must wear my glasses more often on game drives!!
Cheers and thanks again. Wendy M

Fascinating blog Jemma, thanks for sharing this with us.

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10 April, 2798
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