By Charlotte Grieg, Robert Lee Humphrey
Booklet through Grieg, Charlotte
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Extra info for Africa (Cultures and Costumes)
In the past, fur and leather shoulder capes and headdresses were worn, but these are not often seen now. Tribal Revival Other ethnic groups of South Africa, such as Cape Malays, have their own styles of dress. The Cape Malays are a Muslim minority who live in separate communities and adopt many aspects of Islamic dress. The so-called “coloreds,” who mostly live in and around Cape Town, are ethnically mixed. Under the apartheid system, in which people were segregated according to their racial backgrounds, the “coloreds” were forbidden to marry into other racial groups, and many of their political rights were abolished.
Like the Zulu, the Xhosa are farmers and cattle herders, with a strong patriarchal culture led by a chief tribesman and a council of men from smaller clans. Their tribal dress is now seen primarily at special events and ceremonies. Traditional costume includes a long turquoise necklace reaching to the waist, called a danga, which is worn by both men and women. The men also wear goatskin bags made by pulling the animal’s body out of its skin in such a way that the skin remains whole. 57 Africa p50-59 CH05 19/09/02 16:12 Page 58 AFRICA Young Xhosa girls wear a short, plain skirt and go bare-breasted.
They also wear head cloths as a mark of respect to older tribe members. Girls of marriageable age wear longer skirts and turbans; married women are expected to cover their breasts and wear a bigger head wrap. The bigger and more elaborate the head wrap, the higher the woman’s status in the tribe. Ndebele Beadwork The Ndebele, another Nguni people, are renowned for their beautiful beadwork, which is quite different in style from that of the other tribes of South Africa. In the 16th century, Portuguese traders ﬁrst brought glass beads to the region, and since then, the Ndebele have used beads in brilliant, geometric designs to decorate their traditional costumes.
Africa (Cultures and Costumes) by Charlotte Grieg, Robert Lee Humphrey