The Yale University Art Gallery has recently acquired an important collection of beadwork from South Africa. Beadwork has been a core element of personal decoration in this region since the 16th century, when traders from present-day Maputo, Mozambique, first began visiting the communities now known as Nguni (Ndebele, Swati, Xhosa, Zulu) and Sotho. The 93 items of dress and adornment that make up the collection were created between 1850 and 1910, a period when a massive influx of glass beads from Europe inspired a generation of female artists to develop innovative techniques and designs. Hlengiwe Dube, a beadwork artist and a specialist in traditional South African beadwork, guides a session in close looking via Zoom from her home in South Africa.
Watch the lecture here