Neck Ornament

Neck Ornament

1800s-1900s

Glass beads, sinew, brass buttons

Overall: 68.6 cm (27 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.207

Fun Fact

The colors and designs of Nguni beadwork have symbolic meaning.

Description

Typically such an ornament was worn by a woman in conjunction with other beadwork in complementary color schemes. In addition to making her own beadwork, however, a woman would also produce her husband’s beadwork and, before marriage, the beadwork worn by the young man courting her. Before the introduction of glass beads by European traders, southern African communities acquired beads of Indian manufacture from Arab traders.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Textile

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