Student Interpretation → Jessica van Buren

  • Brides Apron
  • Gala Blanket

Ndebele Beadwork

Young girls would wear this apron as an indication that they had been sufficiently educated and therefore ready for matrimony. The geometric design on this apron indicates electric lights and the highly decorated entryways and houses of the Ndebele people. The strong diagonal lines signify the support posts underneath the houses of the Ndebele. The symmetrical nature of the piece is an aesthetic that is important to them. The color of the piece is typical because of its contrast with the sparse landscape of the Ndebele homeland in the Transvaal region of South Africa.

Bride's Apron

Bride's Apron (pepetu)

Ndebele people
South Africa
Early 20th Century
Beadwork on fabric
Museum Collection, University Gallery purchase 10 x 12 in. (25.4 x 30.5 cm)

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