Textile shawl with pin - ROM2004_1311_6


Textile shawl with pin

Maker: Xhosa
Medium:Wool cloth, buttons
Geography: Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Date: 19th century
132.5 x 124 cm
Object number: 972.191.24.1-2
Not on view
DescriptionAmong the Xhosa and neighboring peoples of South Africa garments decorated with beads and mother of pearl buttons are important signs of ethnic, regional and personal identities as well as markers of gender and social status emphasized in the attire of both men and women. Moreover, beadwork displays religious and symbolic meanings that are embedded in the materials and the colors used to create striking garments and ornaments. Red and white are highly spiritual colors that accompany an individual through his or her cycle of life: red is the color beloved by the ancestral spirits, white is the primary color of purity used in all the offerings to the spirits.
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