Collecting Zimbabwean (Shona) Stone Sculpture: A Guide for Art Enthusiasts

Shona stone sculpture, with its blend of artistry and tradition, epitomizes Zimbabwe's rich cultural heritage. This art form has become increasingly popular due to its uniqueness - from the design to the subject matter and materials used.

Today, Zimbabwe is home to a growing group of exceptionally gifted artists. These artists are influenced by urbanization but still maintain strong connections to their rural roots of cultural tradition and beliefs. This blend of influences enables these young artists to innovate upon the traditional Shona sculpture approach, creating a unique and modern style that successfully bridges the past and present.

Shona stone sculpture offers a wide array of choice, from the more traditional through to abstract forms and starting a collection is a journey that goes beyond mere collecting. These sculptures have a way of connecting with your soul and once you start collecting, you simply can't stop.


Understanding Shona Stone Sculpture

Shona sculptures are more than just stone; they are a vibrant expression of the Shona people's beliefs, values, and connections to the ancestral and natural world.

Common themes include family, nature, and the spiritual realm, with each piece telling a story that resonates with the universal themes of life, struggle, and harmony. These sculptures' cultural and spiritual significance make them the perfect addition to any art collection.


Factors to Consider Before Starting a Collection

Embarking on the journey of collecting Shona sculptures requires a thoughtful approach. Identifying your personal preferences and themes that speak to you is essential, as this will ensure your collection is a true reflection of your artistic taste. We recommend familiarizing yourself with the various styles and techniques of Shona stone sculpture. Finally, establishing a budget and defining your collection goals are crucial to any collection.


Type of Stone

Shona sculptures are made from various types of stone, including serpentine, verdite, and springstone. Each type has its characteristics and value, and the choice of stone affects the sculpture's color, texture, and durability.


Cultural Significance

Many Shona sculptures have deep spiritual and cultural significance. Learning about the symbols, themes, and stories behind the sculptures enriches your appreciation and understanding of each piece.



The condition of the sculpture is crucial, especially if you're considering it as an investment. You need to take into account that factors like weathering, chips, or repairs can affect a sculpture's value and appeal.


Market Trends

Understanding the current market trends and prices for Shona sculptures will help you make informed decisions when buying. Prices can vary widely based on the artist's reputation, the sculpture's size, and its uniqueness. Due to its increased popularity, Shona sculptures can be purchased online and through high street galleries.


Investment Potential

While many people collect Shona sculptures for their beauty and cultural value, it is also an investment opportunity. Researching past auction results and consulting with experts can provide insights into which pieces are more likely to appreciate in value.


Authenticity Matters

The essence of collecting Shona stone sculptures lies in their authenticity. Authentic pieces not only carry the true spirit of Shona artistry but also support the artisans and their craft.
Verifying authenticity can involve recognizing the artist's signature style and seeking pieces from reputable sources. Meyavé prides itself on offering genuinely authentic Shona sculptures, and we are proud of our Shona stone sculpture collection.


Building a Meaningful Collection

A meaningful collection resonates with the collector on a personal level. It's about selecting pieces that speak to your heart, whether it's the strength of a theme, the emotion captured in the stone, or the story behind the sculpture. Striking a balance between variety and cohesion allows you to showcase the breadth of Shona sculpture while maintaining a harmonious collection.


Caring for Your Collection

Proper maintenance is crucial to preserving the beauty and integrity of Shona stone sculptures.
Maintaining the beauty of your Shona stone sculpture is easy with some basic care guidelines. We recommend avoiding using spray polish to keep the sculpture's wax finish intact, and for sculptures kept inside, lightly dusting them regularly will suffice.

Outdoor sculptures may lose their wax shine due to the heat from the sun. When the shine starts to fade, reapplying wax and letting it warm in the sunlight can restore its shine.



Collecting Shona stone sculptures is a journey into the heart of Zimbabwean culture and spirituality. It offers a unique opportunity to connect with the stories, traditions, and artistic expressions of the Shona people.

As you start your exciting collecting journey, remember the importance of authenticity, personal significance, and care in building your collection. We would love to hear about your experiences and discoveries and welcome you to the enriching world of Shona sculpture collecting with Meyavé.