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About this Workshop


Learners will make clay oxen while learning about the significance of clay oxen in various South African cultures. After making the oxen, we will paint them with bright colors and abstract patterns.

Clay oxen is culturally significant for many South African cultures, most notably in the Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans cultures. In Zulu and Xhosa cultures, the tradition of young cattle-herders using red river clay to sculpt oxen to play with is centuries old.  The record of Afrikaans children making clay oxen dates back to 1836 when Afrikaans people migrated eastward by ox-wagon. Children would make toy replicas of the ox-wagons they traveled in during this period, using red river clay for the oxen and ox-tail or jaw bones to represent the yolks and wagon.

In later years, children of different races who lived together on farms, often made clay oxen together despite the racial oppression and segregation that existed everywhere in the country.

I started making clay oxen when I was very young, perhaps four or five. My family used to go swimming in a river on my grandfather's farm and this is where I first learned to find the kind of clay that is suitable for making clay oxen. This is also where I learned how to make this craft from my older sisters, who learned it from our dad. He, in turn, used to make this craft as a boy playing in rural South Africa.

I am excited to teach you about this history and make some clay oxen together!  I hope you join me.

Please note: This Workshop is suitable to children 6+


What You'll Need

GLOkit What's a GLOkit?


Painted Clay Oxen from South Africa GLOkit

This GLO kit contains clay, two colors of acrylic paint, and a set of two brushes.

GLOkit Included
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Additional Supplies

Learners will also need:

  • A cup of water
  • Paper towels

Technical Requirements

You will need a device (computer or tablet) that is equipped with a camera, microphone, and speakers. For more information, please check out our Technical Requirements page.

Meet the Instructor

instructor headshot

Henali KuitView Profile

I am a South African currently living in my hometown, Pretoria.   I have been a teacher for the past 8 years, and love working with children.  I started crafting when I was about 4 or 5.  I still love crafting and in my personal work I love to use supplies like clay, paints and beads.

When I was growing up, my grandfather was a farmer and I liked making clay animals with my family next to the river on his farm.  Like many South Africans, I made crafts to use as toys when I was growing up.  To me, the clay ox represents coming-together.  South African children of different races made clay oxen together even during the years that the country was racially segregated.  That is one of the reasons why I am really excited to share this tradition in my Clay Oxen Workshop.   

South Africa is a beautiful place to live.  In my part of our country, summer usually brings daily thunderstorms in the afternoon. I love hearing thunder when it's about 4pm on a very hot day, because that means the heat will soon be broken by a lovely thunder-shower.   


Select a Date & Time


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NOTE: You can choose any available date on the calendar and rest assured that your GLOkit(s) WILL arrive before your workshop time! We only display dates/times that allow time to ship.

Workshop Reviews


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(1 reviews)

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Easy and fun

by Sandra on

Easy to follow instructions and fun! The kids really enjoyed it. They did it at school on two different days. We partnered each learner with a student helper each time. All students had the chance to be a helper and to be a learner. Even though the kit was meant to be for the learner only , there was enough clay to share so they were all able to make their own. She gave them lots of context information and made a great connection with the kids.

workshop poster

Painted Clay Oxen from South Africa