Historical information

It is unknown how this specific item made its way into the Warrnambool Museum. However, many South African artefacts came to the museum through men who served in the army during the Boer Wars of 1880-81 and 1899-1902.

Physical description

A beaded rope necklace. The rope is made from cloth and plant fibre with glass beads. It has a brass fastening. There are five colours: white, green, black and red with a pink band at the top.
In the Zulu culture beads and jewellery were used as a means of communication. Generally they were used to convey messages about whether someone was married, engaged or single. The colours had different meanings but when placed next to white, the meaning would always be positive.
white: purity and love
black: marriage and rebirth
red: also love
green: contentment
pink: denoted high status

Beadwork was almost solely the work of women but men would also wear the jewellery.