Goatskin, grass, glass beads
Overall: 69.8 x 50.8 cm (27 1/2 x 20 in.)
Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2022.256
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.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.