Beaded Apron - Botswana

A stunning apron from Botswana, featuring strong geometric designs in dense, graphic sections that seem almost to evoke an abstract landscape or a play of reflection as upon the surface of a lake. The tight, exacting beadwork is sewn directly onto a hide backing. The creator of this apron made clever use of inversion, exchanging the roles of black and white on either side of the composition to add a subtle current of asymmetry to the design.

This piece originated either from the Bayei or their immediate neighbours, the Hambukushu (Mbukushu), who are found in the Okavango Swamps of Northern Botswana and overlapping into Namibia's Kavango province.

Bayei or Mbukushu
Hide, glass beads
First half 20th century
H: 18" W: 16 1/2"
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