Yei Beaded Apron - Botswana

A stunning apron from Botswana, featuring strong geometric designs in dense, graphic sections that seem almost to evoke an abstract landscape with suggestions of mountain, sky, and shadow. Inverting the continuity of black and white at the equator of the composition adds an element of asymmetry to the largely mirrored design – an intriguing technique found in other Yei aprons. The tight, exacting beadwork is sewn directly onto a hide backing.

This piece originated either from the Bayei or their immediate neighbours, the Hambukushu (Mbukushu), who are found in the Okavango Swamps of Northern Botswana and overlapping into Namibia's Kavango province.

Apron is on a black fabric mount which can easily be removed.

Yei
Glass beads, hide
Early 20th century
L 16.5" W 16"
Ex Taylor Dale, Santa Fe
#450
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