Image Gallery → All Images

  • Beaded Doll (Ham Pilu)
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Elephant Mask
  • Man's Prestige Hat (ashetu)
  • Face Mask
  • Male Royal Ancestor Mask
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Sash with Triangular Pendant
  • Hat (Mpaan)
  • Hat
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Female Twin Figure
  • Royal Slippers
  • Divination Tapper
  • Beaded Crown (adenla)
  • Diviner's Bag
  • Seated Female Figure
  • Fertility Figure
  • Small Bag
  • Doll
  • Bride's Apron
  • Bride's Apron
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Dance Staff
  • Dance Staff
  • Married Woman's Apron
  • Gala Blanket
  • Child Figure
  • Wrap Skirt
  • Diviner's Headdress
  • Man's Wedding Apron
  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel (Beer Pot)
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Man's Back Tie
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel Pin
  • Doll
  • Woman's Tobacco Bag
  • Woman's Purse
  • Woman's Belt
  • Woman's Apron
  • Child Figure
  • Bridal Walking Stick
  • Child's Apron
  • Wedding Cape
  • Married Woman's Belt
  • Young Matron's Dress
  • Koranic Amulet
  • Beaded Earflap
  • Beaded Earflap
Dance Staff

Dance Staff (ithelefonu)

Ndebele People
South Africa
Dance Staff (ithelefonu)
20th Century
Wood, glass beads
Gift of Caroline Popper
2004.33.9

Brides carry scepter-like staffs in wedding ceremonies, as do initiates, raising them in the air as they dance. In the past the staffs were covered with purely white beads, but this one includes the dark patterns preferred in the mid-20th century. Telephone pole motifs for staffs were popular in the 1960s to signify the bride’s aspiration for a modern lifestyle, as well as the status and wealth associated with acquiring modern luxury goods.

PO Box 1122700
SW 34th Street and Hull Rd
Gainesville, FL 32611-2700

Contact Us:
Phone - 352.392.9826
Fax - 352.392.3892