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Woman's Belt

Woman's Belt

Thembu People
South Africa
Woman's Belt
1940-1959
Glass beads, leather, metal beads, fiber
Gift of Norma Canelas Roth and William D. Roth
2006.45.5

The predominantly white beads, with accents of black beads and a few turquoise and pink beads identify the wearer as a Tembu teenager, and the red tassels are attached to beadwork of teenagers of both sexes. Leather belts without tassels are worn by young women and brides, so it is likely this belt was made for a teenage girl. It may have been an example of the elaborate beadwork worn in youthful dances that affirm the value of the kraal, the central space for cattle that is the source of the family’s wealth.

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