Hand Made Gifts, Unique Hand Crafted Home Goods, FAIR TRADE

African Zulu Beaded Red, Yellow, Blue & Green Collar Necklace

Zulu Beaded Red, Yellow, Blue & Green Collar Necklace
Zulu Beaded Red, Yellow, Blue & Green Collar Necklace
Item# JWL55
$55.00

Product Description

Zulu Beaded Red, Yellow, Blue & Green Collar Necklace

Size:
Width: 5 ½ inches
Hanging Length: 16 ¾ inches
Flat Length: 26 inches



Hand Crafted in South Africa

This unique hand beaded Zulu necklace/ collar is made up of hundreds of glass beads in red, yellow, green and blue. The necklace is designed to be like a collar, but instead of lace it is made up of individually strung beads.

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 colors 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.

Unique African Jewelry


Accessories

Hand Crafted Oval 14ct Gold & Elephant Hair Pendant

Size:
Width: 1 inches
Length: 2 inches
Weight: 5.4 grams

Hand Crafted in South Africa

This unique pendant was hand made in Johannesburg by a jeweler who grew up in Soweto, after studying the art of jewelry making, he then decided to combine the modern mediums with ancient African mediums; the result is a unique and beautiful piece of jewelry.

This oval pendant is made up of a 14ct gold pendant with San art cut outs that are highlighted with elephant hair. The black in the pendant is inlayed elephant hair. The whole piece is hand crafted using elephant hair and 14ct gold. This pendant is gently curved from top to bottom.

Elephant hair is traditionally used to make jewelry in Africa it is considered good luck and health.

The hair is cut from the tail when the elephants are darted for medical reasons. No elephants are killed for the hair.

About the Bushmen.

When 4000 years ago nomads came into contact with the much longer established hunter-gatherers of Southern Africa, they called them San meaning food gatherers. In the 17th century the Dutch colonized the Cape of Good Hope and called the hunter-gatherers of the plains “Boschjemannen” which translates to Bushmen. Bushmen are the longest surviving tribe of Southern Africa they are descendents of the Stone Age people.

About Rock Art.

The Europeans who first saw the Rock Art were fascinated but dismissive of their importance. Now days the true value and meaning of their art is being deciphered and appreciated., their art not only shows actual events that happened but are messages full of intricate and complex nuances in the symbols, metaphors and religious meaning.

Unique African Jewelry

$120.00
Hand Crafted Oval 14ct Gold & Elephant Hair Pendant MIXO19