Southern Africa, South Africa, Northern Nguni or Zulu, 19th century
Glass beads, bone, sinew, Overall: 38.1 cm (15 in.). Gift of Dori and Daniel Rootenberg in memory of Estelle Rosenberg 2010.231
When wild game was still plentiful in the region, real animal claws would have been used to punctuate beaded prestige necklaces. Lion-claw necklaces were the exclusive property of royalty while the bone imitations were owned and worn by high-ranking individuals of lesser status. Large red glass beads were also reserved for the Nguni elite in the period before the destruction of the Zulu kingdom in 1879.
Cleveland Museum of Art, (4/16/11-2/26/12); "The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southeast Africa" cat. no. 67
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