African animals, from one of the tapestry panels

The history of a country has been likened to a tapestry: there is a warp to it and a woof.  In the case of Rhodesia the warp has been furnished by the nature of her soils, the structure of her rocks, the course of her rivers, the shape of her hills, the benison of her climate and the pestilential nature of her encircling lowveld which in earlier days protected the country from invasion. These features combined to create a geographical entity and allowed her story to unfold in separate and individual lines.

The woof of a country which is super-imposed on the warp is represented by a series of human initiatives.  Their weaving together in Rhodesia has created a distinctive pattern and allowed the emergence of a nation which is utterly different from any other.  By a happy inspiration the whole texture of the Rhodesian past was captured through the endeavours of the country's Women's Institutes when they created the National Tapestry.

Here for all to see are depicted all the great events which have been stitched into the groundwork of the land to form a coherent history.  In doing so the Women's Institutes have done Rhodesians a great service.  For knowledge of what has gone before is the key to understanding the future.  And here, working with the magic thread of relevance, Rhodesian women, in a beautiful and intricate work of art, have recognised the essence of their history.  It has provided their country's men and women with a visual record which will enable them to appreciate the past and more surely plan for the years ahead.






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