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Long Zulu Necklace in black, silver and copper

Long hand beaded Zulu Necklace in black, silver and copper
Long hand beaded Zulu Necklace in black, silver and copper
Item# JWL44
$60.00

Product Description

Long hand beaded Zulu Necklace in black, silver and copper

Size:
Width: 3 ¼ inches
Hanging Length: 25 inches





Hand Crafted in South Africa

This unique hand beaded Zulu necklace has been designed so that is a long hanging necklace, there are several beaded strands that are attached to a solid beaded panel that ends in a lose beaded fringe this necklace is black, silver and copper in color.

This necklace has been made by several small scale self-help projects that have evolved in recent years to uplift Zulu women, who whilst working from their homes, are able to supplement their incomes and at the same time maintain the traditional craft of beadwork.

About Zulu Beadwork

Beads and beadwork have been an important part of the culture of southeast Africa for hundreds of years, perhaps for millennia. They have been used by archaeologists to date the ancient ruins of Mapungubwe and Zimbabwe, by historians to provide evidence of trading activities and contacts with other civilizations and cultures, and by anthropologists who have recognized Zulu beadwork as an important social regulator and index of status within the society. Curiously enough, however, Zulu beadwork, acknowledged to be among the finest in Africa, has received very little attention as an artistic expression.

African beadwork is a strong part of the Zulu tradition and the tradition of many other African tribes. Trade in beads began hundreds of years ago, probably even before the days of Henry Francis Fynn - the first European settler to settle in Natal in 1824. These beads came to be highly valued by the Zulu tribes who then started to add them to many different items and even weaved into them messages which were then sent to friends and lovers.

Beads were probably first traded in Africa during the time of the Egyptians, Sumerians and Chaldeans about three thousand years ago. Since the Zulu people could not make these themselves they came to value them highly and used them to craft many different items and also as a means of communication.

The patterns and colors used to create Zulu beadwork contained specific messages and symbols. They were used to show whether a girl was single, engaged to be married or a new mother.

Glass beads are a by-product of the discovery of glass, which occurred in Egypt during the rule of the pharaohs some 30 centuries ago. Egyptian glass beads were transported by the Phoenicians from the Nile Delta to every port along the North African coast and the ancient Negro kingdoms of West and Central Africa. The Arabs succeeded the Phoenicians as traders and continued to supply beads to Africans along the East Coast. To this day, red cornelian beads of Indian origin are washed out on South Africa's shores from ancient Arab vessels that fell victim to storms and sank.

Glass beads were valued in Africa, not because Africans were duped into believing them to be precious stones, but because they were the products of an exotic technology, of which the equivalent was unknown in sub-Saharan Africa at that time. Beads, therefore, became precious in their own right and were crafted into a variety of objects to be worn according to custom, and as a token of social status, political importance and for personal adornment. What makes Zulu beadwork unique is the code by which particular colours are selected and combined in various decorative geometrical designs in order to convey messages. The geometric shapes themselves have particular significance and the craft itself forms a language devoted entirely to the expression of ideas, feelings and facts related to behavior and relations between the sexes. The Zulu beadwork language is deceptively simple: it uses one basic geometric shape, the triangle, and seven basic colors. The triangle's 3 corners represent father, mother and child. A triangle pointing down represents and unmarried woman; pointing up it represents an unmarried man. Two triangles joined at their bases represented a married woman, while two triangles joined at their points, in an hourglass shape, represent a married man.

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Accessories

Pair of Sterling Silver &  Ndebele Hand Beaded  Candle Holders

Width: 3 inches
Length: 3 inches
Height: 4¼ inches



Hand Crafted in South Africa

These unique candle holders are hand beaded by the Ndebele ladies, the top and bottom are sterling silver, the set comes packaged in a box. While the designs and colors of the beadwork may vary the quality will never be compromised.

About the Ndebele.

Ndebele women traditionally adorned themselves with a variety of ornaments, each symbolizing her status in society. After marriage, dresses became increasingly elaborate and spectacular. In earlier times, the Ndebele wife would wear copper and brass rings around her arms, legs and neck, symbolizing her bond and faithfulness to her husband, once her home was built..

She would only remove the rings after his death. The rings (called idzila) were believed to have strong ritual powers. Husbands used to provide their wives with rings; the richer the husband, the more rings the wife would wear. Today, it is no longer common practice to wear these rings permanently.

In addition to the rings, married women also wore neck hoops made of grass (called isigolwani) twisted into a coil and covered in beads, particularly for ceremonial occasions. Isigolwani are sometimes worn as neckpieces and as leg and arm bands by newly wed women whose husbands have not yet provided them with a home, or by girls of marriageable age after the completion of their initiation ceremony.

Married women also wore a five-fingered apron (called an ijogolo) to mark the culmination of the marriage, which only takes place after the birth of the first child. The marriage blanket (nguba) worn by married women was decorated with beadwork to record significant events throughout the woman’s lifetime.

For example, long beaded strips signified that the woman’s son was undergoing the initiation ceremony and indicated that the woman had now attained a higher status in Ndebele society. It symbolized joy because her son had achieved manhood as well as the sorrow at losing him to the adult world.

A married woman always wore some form of head covering as a sign of respect for her husband. These ranged from a simple beaded headband or a knitted cap to elaborate beaded headdresses (amacubi).

Boys usually ran around naked or wore a small front apron of goatskin. However, girls wore beaded aprons or beaded wraparound skirts from an early age. For rituals and ceremonies, Ndebele men adorned themselves with ornaments made for them by their wives.

Ndebele arts and crafts.

Ndebele art has always been an important identifying characteristic of the Ndebele. Apart from its aesthetic appeal it has a cultural significance that serves to reinforce the distinctive Ndebele identity.

The Ndebele’s essential artistic skill has always been understood to be the ability to combine exterior sources of stimulation with traditional design concepts borrowed from their ancestors.

Ndebele artists also demonstrated a fascination with the linear quality of elements in their environment and this is depicted in their artwork. Painting was done freehand, without prior layouts, although the designs were planned beforehand.

The characteristic symmetry, proportion and straight edges of Ndebele decorations were done by hand without the help of rulers and squares. Ndebele women were responsible for painting the colorful and intricate patterns on the walls of their houses.

This presented the traditionally subordinate wife with an opportunity to express her individuality and sense of self-worth. Her innovativeness in the choice of colors and designs set her apart from her peer group. In some instances, the women also created sculptures to express themselves.

The back and side walls of the house were often painted in earth colors and decorated with simple geometric shapes that were shaped with the fingers and outlined in black. The most innovative and complex designs were painted, in the brightest colors, on the front walls of the house. The front wall that enclosed the courtyard in front of the house formed the gateway (izimpunjwana) and was given special care.

Windows provided a focal point for mural designs and their designs were not always symmetrical. Sometimes, makebelieve windows are painted on the walls to create a focal point and also as a mechanism to relieve the geometric rigidity of the wall design. Simple borders painted in a dark color, lined with white, accentuated less important windows in the inner courtyard and in outside walls.

Contemporary Ndebele artists make use of a wider variety of colors (blues, reds, greens and yellows) than traditional artists were able to, mainly because of their commercial availability. Traditionally, muted earth colors, made from ground ochre, and different natural-colored clays, in white, browns, pinks and yellows, were used. Black was derived from charcoal. Today, bright colors are the order of the day.

As Ndebele society became more westernized, the artists started reflecting this change of their society in their paintings. Another change is the addition of stylized representational forms to the typical traditional abstract geometric designs. Many Ndebele artists have now also extended their artwork to the interior of houses. Ndebele artists also produce other crafts such as sleeping mats and isingolwani.

Isingolwani (colorful neck hoops) are made by winding grass into a hoop, binding it tightly with cotton and decorating it with beads. In order to preserve the grass and to enable the hoop to retain its shape and hardness, the hoop is boiled in sugar water and left in the hot sun for a few days. A further outstanding characteristic of the Ndebele is their beadwork.

Beadwork is intricate and time consuming and requires a deft hand and good eyesight. This pastime has long been a social practice in which the women engaged after their chores were finished but today, many projects involve the production of these items for sale to the public.

$35.99
Pair of Sterling Silver & Ndebele Hand Beaded Candle Holders BCH1