Safari Stripe

By Louise Irvine

The majestic zebra is the star of Ardmore’s new Thanda Stripe design collection. Thanda means “love” in Zulu, and you will fall in love with our dazzling display of zany zebra ceramics, pillows and table-top accessories at WMODA when the museum reopens.

The Ardmore artists make zebra riding look easy in their Travelers of Africa collection, but in fact, they are usually too aggressive to train. They kick and bite, and their backs are not strong enough to support the weight of a man. Nevertheless, there were numerous attempts to domesticate them in the late 19th century. The eccentric zoologist Baron Rothschild trained zebras to pull a carriage to Buckingham Palace in London. The Ardmore ceramic artists have portrayed a zebra pulling a rickshaw, which is traditionally drawn by Zulu men in Durban. Monkeys are the unlikely passengers in this whimsical zebra piece as well as on the Zebra Rider tea towel, one of Ardmore’s first table-top designs.

An African folk tale tells us that zebras were originally white but acquired their distinctive black stripes when scorched with firesticks after a fight with a baboon. The zebra’s distinctive stripes are believed to help confuse predators by motion dazzle, making it more challenging to pick out an individual target. The tea towel and napkins in the Bush Bandits design depict a vulnerable lone zebra with its wily predators hiding in the bush. They are more effectively camouflaged in the new Thanda Stripe pillows, available in five colors in silk, cotton, or velvet fabric.

A graceful zebra prances beside a pangolin surrounded by magnolias and flowering aloes on the new Thanda Stripe napkins and placemats. Look for them both also in the Pangolin Park tablecloths and runners which can be ordered through the Museum Shop.

Read more about Ardmore zebras at WMODA.

Zulus & Zebras

Ardmore’s Zany Zebras