Beaded Ceremonial Art of the Ndebele

Special Exhibit
May 1, 2012-December 31, 2012

Location: African Art Gallery

Curator: Dorit Shafir

Media: Beads

The Museum’s African Art collection has recently been enriched by a generous donation of beaded Ndebele art. This special display highlights ceremonial body ornaments and initiation dolls made by Ndebele women for use in rites of passage and as status symbols. The intricate beadwork features common motifs such as stylized flora, houses, telegraph poles, and electric light bulbs, reflecting the Ndebele woman’s domestic concerns, her hopes for a good harvest, and her aspirations for an idealized home.