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Xhosa Beadwork Pendant Doll

Tribe Dynasty

Xhosa

Sub Tribe

Mfengu

Country Of Origin

South Africa

Date

First half 20th century

Size

10 x 6 cms (4 x 2ΒΌ ins)

Materials

Gourd, glass beads, mother of pearl buttons

Technique

Beadwork

Condition

Good condition

This hourglass shaped gourd (the female form) is filled with seeds, a symbol of female fertility. Women hoping to have children would have worn it around their neck or over their shoulder. The gourd is covered with the turquoise and pink beads favoured by the Xhosa and Mfengu people. Mother of pearl buttons, also popular with the Mfengu are spaced along the beaded cords. A similar example is currently on show at the Cleveland Museum of Art in The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southeast Africa.

References

  • Petridis, Constantine. The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southeast Africa. 5 Continents. Milan. 2011. pp.92. Fig.73

Publications

Price

Price on request

Reference No

1784

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