Zulu Woman or Girl's Garment - South Africa

This garment would have been worn as part of a woman or girl’s beadwork ensemble. The front section and straps are designed with rows of rectangles in a bold palette of red, blue, and black, with horizontal white stripes. A more limited choice of colors is used on the speckled side bands. In the center of the garment on both sides is a vertical panel of British conical brass buttons, symbolizing wealth. An old collection label, now missing, identified this piece as a “Zulu bride’s ornament.”

19th century
Glass beads, brass buttons, sinew, hide
H: 9 1/2 in W: 17 in

Phillips Auctioneers, London, 1996

Nicholas G. Maritz Collection, South Africa

Karel Nel Collection, South Africa

Publication history:

Nicholas Maritz, Relics of War: A Collection of 19th Century Artefacts from British South Africa and Southern Rhodesia, p. 212

Item Number:
Click To Enlarge

Keep In Touch

Stay up to date on new acquisitions, collections, updates, and more.
Thank you, we'll be in touch.
Apologies—something went wrong. Please try again.