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Ndebele Beaded Doll Neckrings Nelson Collection S. African Art

Regular Price: $890.00

Special Price: $490.00

Product #: 46888
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Title Ndebele Beaded Doll Neckrings Peter Nelson Collection South Africa
Type of Object Doll
Country of Origin South Africa
People Ndebele
Materials wood, glass beads, brass strings, yarn, grass, vegetal fibers, cardboard
Approximate Age 1970's- 1980's
Dimensions Height is 8.5 inches.
Overall Condition Excellent. Most of our 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 a few loose strands in the bottom 


From the Collection of Peter Nelson, who was a Peace Corps volunteer, collector, and dealer. These pieces were collected in the 1970s and very early 1980s. This piece is from his personal collection.

Certificate of Provenance available!

Additional Information: A wonderful beaded Doll with body composed of multiple beaded bands or rings that remind the cholwane neckrings worn around the neck, legs, arms and waist by unmarried Ndebele women. This beaded doll comes from the Ndebele People of South Africa. It is known as a fertility doll, Umndwana or Umtwana wa Madlozi. 

The Ndebele are one of the smallest tribes in South Africa, but are known worldwide for their geometric designs found on their painted houses and beadwork. This doll wears brass rings around the neck, It does not wear an apron or a blanket as found on many other Ndebele Doll. Such dolls show a Nguni or Soto influence. Among these peoples Such dolls  were used to ensure a successful marriage and to enable to couple to conceive.  Small ones were worn around the neck for the same purposes.

This doll was probably made by members of a women's co-op in KwaNdebele, South Africa. We visited them in South Africa years ago. Beaded dolls have become an important item for importation and a source of income for Ndebele Women.

 For close similar examples see See also Marie-Louise Labelle, Beads of Life, 2005, fig. 146

For other examples and more information, see also Margaret Courtney-Clarke's "NDEBELE."; ;  Elizabeth Cameroon, Ins't s/he a doll?

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