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Dance Staff

Dance Staff

Ndebele People
South Africa
Dance Staff (amandondolo)
20th Century
Wood, glass beads, cloth, tennis ball
Gift of Caroline Popper
2004.33.10

This ceremonial dance staff, covered with beads in dark geometric designs, reflects an Ndebele style of the 1960s. In the past, the sphere on the top would have been made of wood, but since the mid-20th century, tennis balls have been used. The beaded rings below the sphere recall the heavy beaded rings (isigolwane) worn on the necks, arms and legs of unmarried women which are removed and replaced with multiple thin brass rings after marriage.

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