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Maasai Beaded Cape Kenya Leather Beaded African Art

Regular Price: $250.00

Special Price: $95.00

Product #: 73996
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Title Maasai Beaded Cape, Kenya, Leather, Beads, African
Materials Uncured hide, glass beads, cowrie shells, ochre
Made In Kenya or Tanzania
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 39 by 46 inches
Overall Condition Good
Damage/Repair General wear,repair in two places, tears in skin, stain
Type of Object Skirt, cape, garment


We do not recommend laundering textiles, and do not accept returns of textiles which have been laundered in any manner.  Even dry cleaning is too much for some of these antique textiles.  For some of them, a very gentle HAND washing  (NEVER MACHINE, on any setting)  in cool water with a very gentle detergent works, but even then, dyes may not be colorfast, and fabric may be less strong than it appears.


Additional Information:


A magnificently beaded piece. Olekesana is a woman skirt or cap from the Maasai. It is made of goatskin or sheepskin decorated with beads on the surface. some of them may have a particular design for a specific category of wearer. The skirt is embellished with ochre Such skirts were as garments and part of married women dress. Such capes would be worn by women from the day they would get married until their death. These capes/skirts can still be seen worn y women during important ceremonies.


For more information and pictures, see Saitoti's MAASAI, which has examples and a photograph of a woman sewing beads on one, on p. 216.


See a similar piece in Marie-Louise Labelle, BEADS OF LIFE, fig. 66, p.86


I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD