Burnished: Zulu Ceramics Between Rural and Urban South Africa

Elizabeth Perrill ’99, Indiana University Press, June 2022

Burnished acknowledges the agency of rural Zulu women potters as innovative artists and complex individuals negotiating a biased set of power structures. Featuring 90 color images, Burnished engages directly with individual artists and specific vessels, featuring compelling narratives of women ceramic artists and the sophisticated beer pots they create — their aesthetic choices, audiences, production, and artistic lives. Burnished provides an engaging look at the artistry of entrepreneurial Black women too often erased from historical records.

Elizabeth Perrill is a professor of art history and director of the Humanities Network and Consortium at University of North Carolina-Greensboro and a research fellow with the University of South Africa.