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Waistband with Fringe

Arts of Africa

Southern and eastern Africa has a wide-ranging history of beadwork used for personal ornamentation. Unlike most of the art displayed in these galleries, the three objects in this case are nonrepresentational (though they carry explicit and implicit social meanings) and were made by women. The trade in beads flourished in South Africa after 1830. The newfound availability of glass beads diminished their value as status objects but stimulated the development of new forms of personal adornment, including this waistband worn by a young woman in the period between initiation and marriage.
MEDIUM Glass seed beads, seeds, sinew
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 16 3/4 x 3 1/4 in. (42.5 x 8.3 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE Bequest of Mrs. George Hadden
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Bead girdle with a thick fringe ending in rounded seeds. The girdle design is composed of three lengthwise bands of triangles forming a continuous zig-zag pattern, in colors of green, black and white. Its bordered at the waist with a narrow strip of pink coral red, black and white. The fringe is composed of strands of pink segments used alternating with a combination of black and white. Technique: brick stitch and fringe. CONDITION: Good, loss of a few beads on the fringe.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Possibly South Sotho. Waistband with Fringe, 19th century. Glass seed beads, seeds, sinew, 16 3/4 x 3 1/4 in. (42.5 x 8.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Mrs. George Hadden, 52.80.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.52.80.2_bottom.jpg)
IMAGE bottom, CUR.52.80.2_bottom.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
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