Painting on ostrich egg , Unique and beautiful art f

Painting on ostrich egg 

Painting on ostrich eggs is a unique and beautiful art form that has been practiced for centuries in various cultures around the world. Ostrich eggs are perfect for painting due to their large size, smooth surface, and durability. In this article, we will explore the history and techniques of painting on ostrich eggs.

History of Painting on Ostrich Eggs

The practice of painting on ostrich eggs dates back to prehistoric times, with some of the oldest known examples found in South Africa. These ancient ostrich eggshells were decorated with intricate geometric patterns using red and yellow ochre pigments.

In many African cultures, ostrich eggs were considered a symbol of fertility and were often used in religious and ceremonial contexts. The San people of southern Africa, for example, would decorate ostrich eggs with images of animals and hunters, while the Ndebele people of Zimbabwe and South Africa would use ostrich eggs to create brightly colored patterns as part of their traditional dress.

In Europe, ostrich eggs were popular among the wealthy and aristocratic during the Renaissance period. They were often used as decorative objects, and were sometimes carved or painted with scenes from mythology or religious stories.

Techniques of Painting on Ostrich Eggs

Painting on ostrich eggs requires a steady hand and a lot of patience. The first step is to clean the eggshell thoroughly and remove any dirt or debris. Some artists will also sand the surface of the egg to create a smoother surface for painting.

Once the egg is prepared, the artist can begin painting. Many different materials can be used, including acrylic or oil paints, ink, or even natural pigments like those used by the San people. Some artists will sketch their design onto the eggshell first, while others will paint freehand.

One of the challenges of painting on ostrich eggs is the curved surface. This can make it difficult to paint fine details, and can also cause the paint to drip or run. To avoid this, some artists will rotate the egg as they paint, while others will use a small stand or holder to keep the egg in place.

After the painting is complete, the egg may be coated with a clear sealant to protect the design and give it a glossy finish.

Uses of Painted Ostrich Eggs

Painted ostrich eggs can be used in a variety of ways, from decorative objects to functional items. They can be displayed on a stand or in a collection, or used as a vase for flowers or a container for small objects.

In some African cultures, painted ostrich eggs are still used in traditional ceremonies and rituals. They may also be sold as souvenirs or as decorative items for tourists.


Painting on ostrich eggs is a unique and beautiful art form that has been practiced for centuries. From the intricate geometric patterns of the San people to the brightly colored designs of the Ndebele, ostrich eggs have been used as a canvas for artists around the world. Whether used as a decorative object or a functional item, painted ostrich eggs are a testament to the creativity and skill of their makers.

19th Mar 2023 Anthony N.

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