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Wedding Cape

Wedding Cape (isikoti)

Kholekile Maxulu
South African
Ngwane Wedding Cape (isikoti)
c. 1960
Cloth, glass seed beads, plastic beads
Museum purchase, funds provided by museum visitors
2002.29.1

A new Ngwane bride appears at gala occasions wearing a cape of colored cloth, covered with fine beadwork strips. The strips are made by the woman’s relatives who collectively construct the cape. This cloth dating from the 1960s has 16 strips that include both old and new beads, suggesting some were recycled from previous generations. Its beadwork motifs include traditional geometric patterns as well as representations of crosses, telephone poles, automobiles, and houses. The great variation of patterns on this cape indicates the interaction of bead workers from many regions, as well as local innovations.

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