The Zulu people of Southern Africa are renowned for their art of weaving small dazzlingly colored glass beads into intricate patterns.
Zulu beads have been used as a form of communication since ancient times .What makes Zulu bead work exclusive is the code by which distinct colors are selected and put together in diverse ways to create messages that are woven into decorative geometrical designs and shapes.
The shapes and colors have special meanings attached to them.Often times, love letters are made exclusively from beads to a loved one to express their affection.One must know how to interpret both the geometric and color symbolism to interpret the love letter.Both married and unmarried women use bead work to communicate.Only those who understand this code can tell if a woman is married, engaged, unmarried, has children or unmarried sisters.
The shape for this bead work is a triangle .The triangle’s three corners represent father, mother and child.
The colors frequently used are black, blue, yellow, green, pink, red and white.
Zulu bead work is designed and manufactured entirely by women.
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