Speaking with Beads

Author(s): Jean Morris

Fashion & Beauty

The beadwork designs of the Zulu-speaking peoples of Southern Africa have evolved from a tradition of craft skills developed over the generations. But the products of this tradition are now fashionable worldwide. This volume presents jewellery, ornamental headdresses, capes, aprons, beaded panels and other decorative forms. The items frequently convey coded messages in a symbolic language, speaking of love, the origins of their makers or simply the influence of local styles. They also "speak" of ethnic identity and of religion, especially in the beadwork named after the Black Messiah, Isaiah Shembe, which uses white beads as a ground for ornate and exquisitely coloured geometrical patterns. And they speak a modern idiom of revitalized skills, whether as the contemporary art form of bead sculpture or as costume jewellery for global markets. The photographs, taken over a period of 20 years, offer a documentation of evolving traditions.


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Product Information

Voices from the past; speaking with beads; speaking of meaning; speaking of religion; speaking of money; speaking about tradition and nationalism.

General Fields

  • : 9780500277577
  • : 44536
  • : 44536
  • : 0.42
  • : September 1994
  • : 255mm X 210mm X 11mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jean Morris
  • : Paperback
  • : 96
  • : 152 colour illustrations