The Project

Bovidae from Beasts of Burden

African originality and urban crafts
Design objects, cultural bridges, lateral thinkers

The raw material for Beasts of Burden’s design objects is the cattle skull (Bovidae) Bos primigenius of f. Taurus, the Watussi or Ankole cattle from Nigeria. The over 500-year-old cattle breed comes from a cross between long-eared cattle and zebu and is bred from the species of the Tutsi. The hallmark of the animals is obvious – the archaic, imposing horns of their skulls. They are worn by both genders and often reach a span of two meters. The average length is one meter. Even the diameter of the horns is impressive: measuring up to 50cm at the base. The mythical originality and the value of the Watusi cattle does not end there: In their African homeland, the animals are cult objects, underpin the status of their owner, and often serve as a valuable means of payment or as a dowry. The horns of the cattle skull are, once more, the measure of everything: The more imposing the size, the more valuable the animal.

The best of both worlds: African archaic and urban creativity

The archaic charm of the African cattle skull is the starting point for a creative process that makes each of these design objects a valuable and unique piece. Each bovine skull is processed and finished by hand, where a lot of finesse and craftsmanship is required. This process often takes weeks. Here, the artist’s imagination is boundless when it comes to creating successful combinations from a wide range of materials. The colour and size of the bovine skull is diverse: from mono- or duo-tinted to an extremely colourful creation, anything is possible. Amongst others, the raw materials used include composite and precious metals, Swarovski crystals, and leather in any form imaginable. The size of the customised Bovidae can vary upon request. A smaller format can be taken into consideration if required.

Visual checkpoint and striking design features for individually customised spaces

With its impressive horns each Bovidae design object lends its own special charm to an individual living environment. Moreover, its presence enriches upscale locations, as well as prestigious business spaces. Whether living room, hotel, bar, restaurant, showroom, shop, foyer- or video or fashion shoots: A design object of this kind is always a sovereign statement of individuality, state of the art design, and uncompromising nonconformity.

Sustainable style object

The Nigeria stemming Bovidae originate exclusively from sustainable farming – not a single animal is slaughtered for the sole purpose of creating a design object. As the end product of local livestock they are bought at fair prices, and through further production, additional sources of income are created for the local people.

Of course, we can also manufacture custom Bovidae according to customer requirements – for more information see here.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions, interests, as well as inspirations you may have.