Rod dye. Lump of 'umdiki', red ochre earth.

It is ground into a powder. As a solution in water, it is used for dyeing women's and girl's skirts and cloaks. Powdered ochre may be beaten into garments. As a paste mixed with water, it is rubbed on the skin of children; young married women 'umtshakazi', plural 'abatshakazi' to denote their status; all married women for feasts; young men when newly emerged from seclusion after circumcision, when they accompany a diviner to the river for the 'hlwayelelo' ceremony; and by the groom and his attendants at traditional weddings.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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