Length: 8 inches
Circumference: 10 inches
Hand Crafted in South Africa
This beautiful ceramic Christmas ornament has been hand painted and signed. On the one side is the buffalo and on the other is a savannah scene. The production process is as follows. Each piece is hand cast and hand shaped to perfection: When dry, each piece is bisque-fired (1000 degrees Celsius): After the bisque-firing, colorful decorations are hand painted on; The balls, being put on special spikes, are subject to a color-maturing firing (800 degrees Celsius) There after each piece is hand glazed and glaze fired to 1080 degrees Celsius, again on special spikes to ensure that the glaze surface is not exposed to touch and damage; If required, gold and /or platinum luster details are hand painted on with the finest brushes; and Lastly a fourth firing up to 720 degrees Celsius is done, again using the same spikes, so as not to damage any color, glaze or luster surface.
About African Buffalo
The African, or Cape, buffalo is a member of the so-called "Big Five" group of animals, with the elephant, rhino, lion and leopard. Once popular trophies for hunters, these large and often dangerous animals have continued to capture the imagination. Buffaloes have earned a bad reputation from hunters and other people who come in close contact with them. They are unpredictable and can be dangerous if cornered or wounded. Though they have been known to ambush men and are often accused of deliberate savagery, they are usually placid if left alone.
There is only one species of buffalo in Africa, but two distinct subspecies exist: the large savanna buffalo and the much smaller forest buffalo. The forest subspecies is only found in central and West Africa.
Savanna buffaloes are large, heavy cowlike animals. They vary greatly not only in size, but in the shapes of their horns and color. Adults are usually dark gray or black (or even look red or white if they have been wallowing in mud of that color) and the young are often reddish-brown. The smaller forest buffalo maintains the red color even as an adult, although in western Uganda, many savanna buffaloes are also red or pale orange instead of black. Adults lose hair as they age.
Both male and female buffaloes have heavy, ridged horns that grow straight out from the head or curve downward and then up. The horns are formidable weapons against predators and for jostling for space within the herd; males use the horns in fights for dominance.
Buffaloes can live in herds of a few hundred, but have been known to congregate in thousands in the Serengeti during the rainy season. The females and their offspring make up the bulk of the herd. Males may spend much of their time in bachelor groups. These groups are of two types, those that contain males from 4 to 7 years of age and those that have males 12 years and older. The older bulls often prefer to be on their own. Males do not reach their full weight until about age 10. After this, however, their body weight and condition decline, probably because the teeth become worn.
Sight and hearing are both rather poor, but scent is well developed in buffaloes. Although quiet for the most part, the animals do communicate. In mating seasons they grunt and emit hoarse bellows. A calf in danger will bellow mournfully, bringing herd members running at a gallop to defend it.
Females have their first calves at age 4 or 5. They usually calve only once every two years. Although young may be born throughout the year, most births occur in the rainy season when abundant grass improves the nutritional level for the females when they are pregnant or nursing. The female and her offspring have an unusually intense and prolonged relationship. Calves are suckled for as long as a year and during this time are completely dependent on their mothers. Female offspring usually stay in the natal herd, but males leave when they are about 4 years old.
About the Acacia.
Umbrella Thorn Acacia is one of the most recognizable trees of the African savanna.
The Umbrella Thorn grows up to 20 meters high and has a spreading, flat-topped crown that gives it its name. The bark on the Acacia is black to gray in color and feels rough. The branches on the Acacia are gnarled. The Umbrella Thorn has two types of thorns on the branches; long, straight, brownish thorns and shorter, hooked thorns that grow alongside each other. The thorns grow in pairs and disguise themselves in the clusters of flowers that grow on the Acacia.
The Acacia provides shade for the animals of the savanna. The trunk of the tree makes very good charcoal and firewood. The flowers on the Acacia provide a good source of honey in some regions. The stem of the tree is used to treat asthma, and diarrhea. The bark of the acacia is used as a disinfectant, and the pods are used to make porridge.
The Acacia is not endangered, and it is actually plentiful. There are over 700 species of the Acacia in Africa