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Xhosa Necklace Isigcina with Four Love Letters African

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Xhosa Necklace Isigcina with Four Love Letters African

Regular Price: $65.00

Special Price: $45.00

Product #: 57889
US Shipping: $4.98
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Type of Object Beadwork, Jewelry
Country of Origin South Africa
People Xhosa
Materials Beads, strings, button (mother-of-pearl)
Approximate Age 1960s-1970s
Dimensions 18 inches L.; square: 3 inchesĀ  x 2.75 inches H.
Overall Condition good. Most ofour pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair loose/ cut strands with a few missing beads, loophole cut


Additional Information: A superb beaded necklace with four square panels "Love letters" with beautiful design in green, blue,  red, white, and orange. Put together, these four pieces make  a very nice jewelry to be worn around the neck. This square pendant  "love letters"  form is found not only among the Xhosa, but also Mfengu, Ndebele, and Zulu. Xhosa beadworks are recognized by the fact that the motifs are treated in a very symmetrical way. And the way the Xhosa use the space on the work is very different from the Zulu. On the Zuku works space is saturated. However, Xhosa motifs are less crowded. The yellow and red beads are in use since the end of the nineteenth century among the Xhosa. The local name of these necklace Isigcina or Amatikiti. 

The Xhosa of the eastern Cape region of South Africa have a history of beadwork as long as that of the better known Zulu and Ndebele. The uses of beaded garments, bags, jewelry and objects continue until today in the rural areas.

For similar examples see:

Marie-Louise Labelle, Beads of Life. Eastern and Southern African Beadwork From Canadian Collection, Mercury Series, Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation , 2005, Fig. 75, p. 94

EZAKWANTU. Beadwork from the Eastern Cape. 31 October 1993-29 May 1994. South African National Gallery