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From humble beginnings the women’s work now hangs in museums and private collections worldwide, and is sought after by tourists, conference organizers and both local and overseas buyers. Quilters from all over the world visit the project in the Winterveld regularly. 

Below is a timeline of some of the highlights over the years of Mapula Embroideries.

2016 - 2021






















2011 - 2015














2006 - 2010










2001 - 2005





































1996 - 2000



























1990 - 1995










'In-person showing at the 2021 International Quilt Festival 28 - 31 October in the George R Brown Convention Centre, Houston, Texas USA. Sponsored by Global Artisans, Richard Kennair.'

‘2020 Through the Eye of a Needle: A commemorative embroidery in 12 panels by the women of Mapula Embroideries, the Winterveld.’ The tradition of the Bayeaux Tapestry brought into the 21st Century by the Mapula Project/Embroideries textile artists. An exhibition of 12 Hand Embroidered Commemorative/Memory Panels telling a story of South Africa from January to December 2020. Virtual Exhibition 1 September 2021.


Mapula Embroideries are visited for the third time by Nancy Crow, a world-renowned quilter, accompanied by a group of textile experts. She purchases a selection of Mapula wall hangings to add to her vast collection of textiles.

Mapula art works are bought by Dr Natalie Hahn of the Malaika Foundation for the Wayne State College in Nebraska. These will be presented to the college to honor an outstanding Nebraska Global Educator, Dr Randy Bertolas.


Mapula Embroidery Trust and the Department of Consumer Science of the University of Pretoria (UP), form a collaboration agreement.


Works by the Mapula Embroiderers are accepted for The Innibos National Arts Festival Craft AWARDS 2018.


Works by the Mapula Embroiderers are accepted for The Innibos National Arts Festival Craft AWARDS 2017.


Mapula embroiderers are invited by Cool Capital Saadjies project to participate and create works for the first time in 3D for the Cool Capital Saadjies Exhibition.


The Mapula Project is being registered as an independent entity – the Mapula Embroidery Trust which is a registered NPO (No 190-233) with Tax Exemption status and Section 18A benefits.


Rossinah Maepa, Dorah Hlongwane and Janétje van der Merwe travels to Kibeho, Rwanda to teach 12 Rwandan women embroidery skills. The wife of the Rwandan High Commissioner to SA, Netty Butera approached Mapula Embroiderie and asked if we could assist. Funding was received from Soroptimists in the Netherlands. For more information on this project:


Works are bought by the Malaika Foundation for the Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska.


Prof William Woger, Professor of History at the UCLA, California, and Prof Nancy Clark donated their collection of Mapula wall hangings depicting social and political history by the Mapula women, to the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Mapula wall hangings form part of the Fowler’s African Art collection.


Mapula Wall Hangings are purchased by the Friends of the Gregg Museum of Art & Design, for the museum at the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, United States of America.


An embroidered cloth, drawn by Emanuel Maepa and embroidered by Savannah Chauke was presented to President Obama and hangs in the White House, Washington DC.


An order for 52 items for the Oprah Winfrey Academy for Girls near Johannesburg was completed.


A well-researched book, Mapula: Embroidery and Empowerment in the Winterveld by Prof Brenda Schmahmann is published by David Krut Publishing and launched at the Pretoria Art Museum.


Mapula exhibits at Reconciliation, an exhibition of selected art works curated by Dr Elfriede Dreyer, during the Arts and Reconciliation Festival, 15 to 30 March 2005, University of Pretoria.


Mapula cloths are selected for the South African National Gallery (Cape Town) permanent Art collection. Of the works are by Selina Makwana and Rossina Maepa.


Mapula cloths are bought for SA Airways’ Business Class Departure Lounges.

Works by members of the Mapula Project are selected for the FNB Vita Crafts Award Exhibition at Museum Africa Aug/Sept. Members whose works were exhibited are: Rossina Maepa, Selinah Makwana, Josephine Rakubu, Maggie Ringane, Selina Mahlangu.


Mapula project is selected to participate in the Imbizu Crafts Exhibition curated by the Dept of Arts and Culture at the Ubuntu Village during the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Aug/Sept 2002.


Mrs Zanele Mbeki, wife of the President of South Africa, purchases 65 Mapula cloths to give as gifts to the partners of the Visiting Heads of States during the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Aug/Sept 2002.


Works of Sherley Munyuku and Pinky Resenga are selected for the Innovative Threads Exhibition at Nova Constantia, Cape Town. The exhibition went to the UK and Ireland, curated and facilitated by Margie Garratt.


The Mapula Project receives the Soroptimist International Best Practices Award in recognition not only of the quality of the work produced by the Mapula women but also of the way in which the project was affecting their lives and their interaction with their environment.


US photographer, Roland Freeman visits the Mapula Group in July 2001. He purchases a number of cloths for various exhibitions.

The Mapula Group together with 9 other crafts groups are selected to present their skills and work at the Oxo Tower during the CELEBRATE SOUTH AFRICA Festivities from 26 to 28 May 2001.


Rossina Maepa is invited by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (SA) to represent the Mapula Embroidery Group at the South African Festival in London.


Works by the Mapula group is selected for the Women of Tshwane exhibition curated by Dr Lydia de Waal for the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.


Work by Christina Mabasa is selected for Innovative Threads Exhibition at Nova Constantia, Cape Town.


Alliance Francaise Pretoria hosts 6 Mapula exhibitions country wide including one in Gaborone, Botswana and one in Swaziland – this coincides with Mapula’s 10th anniversary.


Works by Sybil Modisha, Pinky Resenga and Engelina Maseko is selected for the permanent collection of Africa Bank.


Unisa Art Gallery purchases works by Elsie Maluleke and Stella Mnisi for its permanent collection.


The Mapula Group wins the overall gold Award of R10 000.00 at the prestigious FNB Vita Craft Now Millennium Award Exhibition.


Mapula participates in a group exhibition at ABSA (Banking Company) head office in Johannesburg. The exhibition is curated by Cecilia Loedorf.


The Mapula Project is incorporated in the first year History of Art Course at Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Sherley Munyuku’s work is included in the corporate collection of a Swiss Textile Company in Cape Town.


Selina Makwana’s work is bought by the Gertrude Posel Art Gallery (University of the Witwatersrand) and by the Unisa Art Gallery, Pretoria for their permanent art collections.


Sherley Munyuku wins a merit award of R1 000 for her embroidered cloth, GOLDEN JAGUAR, at the FNB VITA CRAFT NOW AWARDS EXHIBITION, organised by the Crafts Council of South Africa.


Mapula’s works are accepted by a selected panel of judges for the FNB VITA CRAFT NOW AWARDS EXHIBITION, organised by the Crafts Council of South Africa.


Mapula cloths are used as back drops at the Ambassadorial reception for the South African Soccer team, Bafana Bafana in France.


Works by Rossina Maepa, Selina Makwana, Irene Mathe and Josephine Rakubu are chosen for the WOMEN’S VOICE EXHIBITION, in Stuttgart, Germany, under the patronage of the South African Ambassador in Germany and sponsored by Daimler Benz. Facilitated by Karin Lijnes and David Koloane.


MAPULA, in collaboration with the KAROSSWORKERS is selected to exhibit at the KLEIN KAROO KUNSTEFEES during April 1998 in Oudtshoorn, South Africa.


Mapula creates two groups. Both groups market under the name of Mapula. Group One is co-ordinated by Mrs Emily Maluleke and Group Two is coordinated by Mrs Rossina Maepa Approximately 80 women are members of the project.


Mapula exhibits Embroidered Impressions on the island of Naxos, Greece, under the auspices of the Naxos Catholic Centre. The exhibition is curated by Professor Karin Skawran, Klaus Pfeiffer (Naxos) and Janétje van der Merwe and officially opened by the South African Ambassador to Greece, His Excellency Mr Dawie Jacobs.


For this exhibition the group starts to embroider large cloths to be used as tablecloths and wall hangings.


Mapula project participates in an exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum Embroidered Impressions, curated by Janétje van der Merwe and Dirkie Offringa, the curator of the Pretoria Art Museum. This exhibition includes embroideries from embroidery collectives in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.


The project starts producing cushion covers and shirts, selling them at craft markets and to shops such as the African Art Centre in Durban and Art Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa.


The Mapula Embroidery Project initiated by Soroptimists International Pretoria with approximately 20 women. Operates from the DWT Nthate School, Sisters of Mercy in the Winterveldt, North West of Pretoria, South Africa.


Training, developing and coordination of project by Emily Maluleke, part time teacher at the DWT Nthate Centre. Supported by the Soroptimists International Pretoria and members of staff of the University of South Africa.

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