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Lesson Plans

zulu bead fact

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Teri Sanford (terily)
Fri, 15 Oct 1999 14:16:11 -0500

This might make an interesting lesson...

How do Zulus say "Be my valentine?"


In western culture, someone might offer flowers or a card to a
prospective mate. In Africa's Zulu culture, the equivalent is a
beaded necklace called an ibheqe. Just as different kinds of
mean different things, different patterns in the ibheqe have
different meanings to the Zulus.

The Zulu bead code is quite sophisticated. The basic form is a
triangle, pointing down for a man and up for a woman. Seven
of beads are combined in various ways, and each color (except
has either a positive or a negative meaning.

Beaded necklaces are also worn to show various kinds of
about the wearer, such as whether he or she is looking for a
whether or not he or she has brothers, sisters, spouse, or
and the wearer's place of origin.

More about the Zulu bead code:

  • Reply: The Colliers: "Re: zulu bead fact"
  • Reply: Carla Schiller: "Re: zulu bead fact"