necklet (neck ornament (personal adornment))

amakhubalo wekhala, a necklet made of short lengths of dried flower stalk of the aloe, strung together with shop-bought string, the whole whitened with ground oyster shell of a locally dug earth (traces of the white substance are still visible at the ends of the pieces of stalk). An amakhubalo (sing, ikhubalo but pl. is always used) necklet is always made in this form but may have pieces of roots or stems of other plants in place of aloe. It is worn by all suckling mothers until they wean their babies. It is said that when a mother has to leave her baby alone or in the care of someone else, she will bite off a piece of one of the vegetable parts, chew it and rub the baby with the resulting saliva to protect it from harm while she is away. Closes by means of a bead loop (isango) and mother-of-pearl button (ikolo). Pendant strings at ends - imiphotho (sing. umphotho). Small glass beads - iintsimbi (sing. intimbi), large bglass beads - amaso (sing. iliso). Colours: white - mhlope, black - mnyama.

Collection Information

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