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  • 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
Married Woman's Belt

Married Zulu Woman's Belt (isibamba or ixhama)

MaNala Dladla
South African
Married Zulu Woman's Belt (isibhamba or ixhama)
1940s - 1960s
Glass beads, cotton cloth, twine, grass
Museum purchase, funds provided by museum visitors
2002.29.3

For many Zulu and other relocated peoples of southern Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries, beaded jewelry, garments, and other accessories became important markers of identity. Beadwork was a visual marker of social position, marital status, ethnic affiliation and location of the family’s homeland. Woven grass belts worn by Zulu women identify the wearer as a married woman with children. Such belts were adorned in earlier times with brass studs and then later with glass and plastic beads. This belt seems to be a cross between two types, the isibamba, a flexible belt with densely beaded strands, and an ixhama, a wider, tightly woven belt with sparser beadwork.

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