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Woman's Tobacco Bag

Tobacco bag, (ingxowa)

Thembu People
South Africa
Tobacco Bag (ingxowa)
c. 1940
Glass beads, wool, rope, fiber
Gift of William D. and Norma Canelas Roth
2005.47.5

Beadwork colors and styles of beaded accessories for ceremonial wear indicate age levels among the Thembu. This beaded bag with its large dark beads contrasted against white cloth would be appropriate for a married man. In dances for married men, called ibasi, a bag such as this would be worn with other elaborately beaded accoutrements – most with a white and dark blue color scheme – and garments to distinguish a middle-aged man of high-standing.

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