Image Gallery → Marital Status

  • Wedding Cape
  • Married Woman's Belt
  • Bride's Apron
  • Dance Staff
  • Dance Staff
  • Gala Blanket
  • Man's Wedding Apron
  • Bridal Walking Stick
  • 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
Beaded Panel

Beaded Panel Necklace (ithemba)

Zulu People THIS IS NOT IN THE SHOW BUT ON THE WEBSITE
South Africa
Beaded Panel Necklace (ithemba)
20th Century
Glass beads
Museum Purchase with Harn General Program Endowment Funds
2007.27.9

This beaded panel, or isibebe, given to a woman by her fiancé, is a symbolic declaration of his love. The white field (mhlophe) indicates his purity of heart and dedication, the shield (ihawu) his desire to protect their relationship. Yellow beads in the center of the shield and in its cord refer to the color of pumpkins, that are symbolic of plenty and wealth, and express great love. The use of red associates the color of blood with love. The truncated chevron motif flanking the shield, and the addition of deep blue beads (isiqwabe), both strengthen the protection offered by the shield.

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