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Ndebele Beaded Traditional Blanket Museum Exhibit Africa

Regular Price: $1,250.00

Special Price: $722.00

Product #: 71359
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Title Ndebele Beaded Traditional Blanket Museum Exhibit Africa
Type of Object Textile, Blanket
Country of Origin South Africa
People Ndebele
Materials Wool, beads
Approximate Age Second Half 20th century
Dimensions 64 inches x 64 inches
Overall Condition Good. 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 Loose stitching, a few missing beads

 Provenance: From a collection of African-made beads and beadwork
                     displayed at the South Dakota Art Museum in 2011.

Additional Information: This is a super blanket with its traditional Beaded band from the Ndebele South Africa. This blanket is one of the objects that defines the Ndebele identity. In the past as well as in the recent years, Ndebele women have been seen wrapping such colorful blankets around the body. Known as Nguba or Irari, these blankets come in various styles and size. The present blanket belongs to the most popular style made out of the strips with basic bright colors such as the blue, red, pink, green, mauve, black, yellow, orange, the same colors found in their painting or mural art, and in their beadwork. This blanket is decorated with two strips made of tiny glass beads sewn together which is an indication that the blanket belongs to an old style. This is an old example of its kind and would stand out in any collection of traditional textiles or garments.

See a close similar example in John Picton, (Ed.), The art of African Textiles. Technology, Tradition and Lurex, London, 1995, p. 112

For more examples see:

 see Courtney-Clarke's NDEBELE

Rhoda Levinsohn,  Art and Craft of Southern Africa. Delta Books, 1984

I have examined this piece and agree with the description.

Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.


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.