Neck Ornament (Ibheqe or Umphapheni)
Arts of Africa
Although beaded adornment using many materials existed in southern Africa well before contact with Europeans, elaborate glass beadwork made with small, uniform “seed beads” emerged with exposure to European trade beads and sewing techniques. By sewing beads together, Zulu women developed a new artistic tradition of making “bead fabric,” which often replaced clothing made from skins or cloth.
Different color and pattern combinations form a visual language that can identify the wearer’s ethnic group, gender, social status, romantic attachments, or other personal messages. This was a particularly important means of marking identity in the shifting social landscape of nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Africa. Today, wearing beadwork continues to be a means of self-expression throughout southern Africa.
Glass beads, sinew
mid to late 19th century
11 1/2 × 7 1/4 × 1/2 in. (29.2 × 18.4 × 1.3 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Mrs. Herman Eggers
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Zulu. Neck Ornament (Ibheqe or Umphapheni), mid to late 19th century. Glass beads, sinew, 11 1/2 × 7 1/4 × 1/2 in. (29.2 × 18.4 × 1.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Herman Eggers, 45.125.10. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 45.125.10_acetate_bw.jpg)
overall, 45.125.10_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Beadwork neck ornament, consisting of a beaded strap to which is attached an almost square beadwork retangle. The strap consists of rows of pink, blue, red, and white beads. The blue of the rectangle has three rows of a centrally placed triangular pattern inset with 6 geometric diamonds in red, black, and blue, on a white ground. Strap is attached to rectangle by conical brass buttons. Technique: flat single-face, brick. Condition: several small torn spots.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.