Itjorholo/ijogolo (married woman’s apron)

c. 1935
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The designs on this itjorholo (beaded apron) reference architecture. An “H-shape” motif represents a homestead’s floor plan; triangles may be interpreted as a roof; and horizontal bands suggest compound walls.


This itjorholo (beaded apron) represents the social status and future aspirations of a married Ndebele woman. Before a wedding, bridegrooms gift an undecorated hide apron to their fiancée. Following the marriage, the new bride or her mother-in-law embellish it with imported glass beads. The five large lappets or “calves” reference future children, while the smaller flanking lappets indicate the wearer already had children. The colorful motif suggests the paintings Ndebele women make on the exterior walls of their homestead compounds.
Itjorholo/ijogolo (married woman’s apron)

Itjorholo/ijogolo (married woman’s apron)

c. 1935

Africa, Southern Africa, South Africa, Ndebele-style maker

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