AMAZING, HAND BEADED, WEARABLE African Yoruba belt or sash. This beautiful example of this Nigerian culture known as "the Yoruba people" illustrates their close spiritual beliefs and deep reverence for their history and culture. Once this beautiful belt plus many other beaded garments would have been worn publicly in ceremonies as a show of their wealth and the owner's spiritual position within the culture. It is stated that beads made and used by the Yoruba people go all the way back to the 6th century. To me that statement is incredible! All beads used on this belt are glass. Each bead is sewn onto the fabric by hand. The bead sizes are a mixture of 10/0 and 11/0. The main panel features a sparkling black beaded background with the center design of a spiritual or ancestral divine face. The face is done in royal blue and has sacrificial white scars on its cheeks along with a white bead outline. On each side of the face there is a crocodile, alligator or monitor lizard (I checked, this western coastal area has all three). Each of these is done in beautiful peacock green beads and outlined in white beads. The belt has two fabric wrapped and round beaded extensions (one on each end) that allows a simple loop and ball closure. These extensions are beaded in black, royal blue and navy blue. I am assuming the artist was wanting a night time scene for his/her creation. The fabric under the beaded panel is probably canvas that is then covered with a heavy cotton that has been mud dyed.
CONDITION: Good!!!! Strong!!!! I don't see any messing beads or damage to the ties or the fabric.
CIRCA: 1970's into 1980's. While it is true that sometimes beads are recycled from an older garment to a newer, all of the white beads show a light blue/gray tint which only comes with age.
SIZE: MAIN PANEL: Length: 25 1/2" plus 6" on loop end and 5 1/4" on ball end. Width: 4"
PLEASE NOTE: While this piece can be worn, it is still a piece of living culture and could be hung or even used across a table for display.
Thank you for your interest! Please let me know if you have any questions! Because of the glass beads, this item must be boxed, afraid to use a bubble envelope for it.
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