Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Zulu beadwork is a little bit different. I found that they choose to work in the shapes of triangles and diamonds. Their beadwork is also created by the women of the household and their main clients are men. The men wear the beaded items to show involvement with the woman they may marry. Colors have alternate meanings, both positive and negative, except for white which has no negative connotation. For example:
Black in its positive meaning can represent marriage or regeneration, but in it's negative form it can mean sorrow, despair or death.
Blue in its positive meaning can represent fidelity, request, and it's negative meaning is ill feeling or hostility.
Yellow in the positive means wealth, a garden, industry and fertility, but in the negative it means thirst, badness, withering away.
Green in the positive means contentment, domestic bliss. In the negative, illness and discord.
Pink in the positive means high birth or rank, an oath or promise. In the negative, poverty or laziness.
Red in the positive means strong emotion, physical love. In the negative, anger, heartache and impatience.
White is always positive and represents Spiritual love, purity, virginity
The three corners of a triangle represents FATHER, MOTHER and CHILD. As a basic unit of design it can:
Be inverted, apex pointing downward. This signifies the unfulfilled man principle (Unmarried man) or...
Be positioned with the apex pointing downwards, signifying the unfulfilled female principle (Unmarried woman).
Join with another along the base to form a diamond (stylised egg, a universal fertility symbol) representing the complete female principle (Married Woman).
Be positioned with apexes meeting, an hourglass shape, symbol of the complete male principle (married man).
I designed and beaded a necklace (also available at my Etsy store), but please don't try to decipher any meaning from it. It was designed and made to 1.) practice Ndebele Herringbone Stitch which I had just taught myself and 2.) just for fun. There is no hidden meaning behind it!