African beadwork dates back to nearly 280,000 years ago when jewelry was made from natural resources such as ostrich eggshells. Later, designs became more complex and eggshells were replaced with materials like wood, seashells, and metal. This form of artistic expression is one of the first among humankind and demonstrates our ability to communicate complex ideas through artistic design.
Zulu beadwork is traditionally used as jewelry among Zulu tribes – each one rich in colours, patterns and designs. It is a craft that has been passed down among select families for many generations. Thanda Zulu enables women from these families to earn a living by carrying on this craft. Inspired by traditional Zulu designs and adapted to each season’s trends, all of our jewelry is handmade by Zulu women and proceeds fund Thanda programmes.
Check out some of their beautiful work at the Thanda Zulu store.