Zulu Woman's Apron - South Africa

Rectangular apron skirts were commonly worn by Zulu women and their South African neighbors, and were as lavishly decorated as the rest of the region’s beadwork. This example shows a high amount of detail in its striped waistband and main panel, as well as the elaborate fringe. Sewn to a black woven backing, the red, pink, and green beads used here are handsomely emphasized. The host of brass buttons at the base of the fringe, swinging freely when in movement, would have helped this skirt catch the ear as well as the eye.

Late 19th century
Glass beads, string, brass buttons
H: 8 in Circum: 34 in

Douglas Mullard U.K.

Item Number:
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