Zulu beadwork is not only beautiful, but is also rich in tradition and cultural meaning. What makes this intricate craft and art unique is the use of decorative geometrical designs, particularly the triangle, and colors to convey a message. Each of the seven colors used can be used to convey a negative or a positive meaning. For example, yellow means wealth in a positive context, but badness in a negative one. Red means physical love and strong emotion, but negatively it depicts anger and heartache. The craft itself forms a language devoted entirely to the expression of ideas and feelings related to relations between the sexes.
Beadwork is practiced by Zulu women, with older sisters usually passing down the tradition to their younger sisters. They become communities of their own, empowered by their skill and contributions to their communities. Men are not involved in the making of bead jewelry but they do wear it. The handmade beadwork is sold to tourist as gifts, and is an important source of income for the Zulu people.
Inspired by traditional Zulu designs and adapted to each season’s trends, all of Thanda Zulu‘s beadwork is handmade by renowned Zulu beaders.
Check out some of their beautiful work at the Thanda Zulu store.