Student Interpretation → Ngani Ndimbie

  • Mans Wedding Apron
  • Diviners Headdress

Zulu Personal Adornment

The men of the Zulu culture wear this wedding apron during wedding ceremonies and during the annual festivals of the Shembe church. The beading on the apron is what makes it unique. The pattern is known as "among the Zulu people." The specific apron has a little extra jolt of character in that it was made from a leather bus seat.

Man's Wedding Apron

Man's Wedding Apron (ibeshu)

Zulu People
South African
Man's Wedding Apron (ibeshu)
c. 1940
Glass beads, leather, fiber
Gift of William D. and Norma Canelas Roth
2005.47.9

Although western dress is the normal attire of Zulu men, for special occasions some choose to wear “traditional” elaborately decorated calfskin leather garments. This beaded apron or ibeshu is a reflection of a blending of traditional and contemporary Zulu life in that it is made of leather that was recycled from an old bus seat and the colorful beaded adornments on the edges and flap reflects the modern style of beadworking called isimodeni. Isimodeni is not based on the older color sequencing that formed a coded language, but it may convey personal meanings derived from the older sequences.

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