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 antelope 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.
All about the Kudu.
The greater kudu is considered by many to be the most handsome of the tragelaphine antelopes, which includes the bongo, eland, nyala, bushbuck and sitatunga.
Kudus, both the greater kudu and its close cousin the lesser kudu, have stripes and spots on the body, and most have a chevron of white hair on the forehead between the eyes.
Greater and lesser kudu males have long, spiral horns; occasionally a female will have small ones. The greater kudu's horns are spectacular and can grow as long as 72 inches, making 2 1/2 graceful twists. These beautifully shaped horns have long been prized in Africa for use as musical instruments, honey containers and symbolic ritual objects. In some cultures the horns are thought to be the dwelling places of powerful spirits, and in others they are a symbol for male potency. The horns are seldom used in defense against predators; nor are they an impediment in wooded habitats-the kudu tilts the chin up and lays the horns against the back, moving easily through dense bush.
Female greater kudus are noticeably smaller than the males. By contrast, lesser kudus are even smaller, about 42 inches at the shoulder; males weigh around 220 pounds while females generally weigh about 50 pounds less. Lesser kudus have smaller horns than the greater kudus and conspicuous white patches on the upper and lower parts of the neck. Although both species are bluish-gray, grayish-brown or rust color, the lesser has five to six more lateral white stripes, for a total of 11 to 15. Both species have a crest of long hair along the spine, and greater kudus also have a fringe under the chin.
About the Springbok.
Springbok roam in herds of up to 100 in the dry months and several hundreds in the rainy season, and they are very vocal at certain times of year. Their main predators are cheetah, leopards and lions. They often associate loosely with other game species, such as wildebeest, blesbok and ostriches. They are browsers as well as grazers, feeding on shrubs and grasses, and digging out roots and bulbs. Springbok males are territorial, but do not always remain on their territories throughout the year.
During the breeding season, they try to keep females in their territory by herding. Springbok lambs are born in the rainy season, when the grass is green and there is plenty of food. The mother hides her (single) newborn offspring in bush or long grass, and for a day or two it remains still. The newborn soon gets its strength and speed and is able to flee if threatened or disturbed. Females with young lambs tend to form nursery herds; the young then remain together resting while the females graze. Young females remain with the herd, while young males are usually evicted at about six months of age: they then join bachelor herds.
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