South Nguni Tobacco Bag - South Africa

Means of carrying tobacco were as important in southern Africa as those of sampling it, and gaily beaded purses were widely produced for that purpose. Decorated as vividly as any other example of the region’s beadwork, such bags would often be worn as just one element in a larger ensemble of heavily beaded accessories. This example features classic Nguni design with its bold zigzag pattern and bright palette of white, red and blue.

Late 19th century
17” h (including strap) 7 1/2” w
Glass beads, cloth, fiber, sinew
Provenance: Brant Mackley, Pennsylvania
#475
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