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3-Handmade-African-Zulu-Beaded-Love-Letters-Set-4
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Details about  3 Handmade African Zulu Beaded Love Letters - Set #4

3 Handmade African Zulu Beaded Love Letters - Set #4

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Worldesigns

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Item condition:
New without tags
Price:
US $19.99
 
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Last updated on  Nov 28, 2013 18:34:17 PST  View all revisions

Item specifics

Condition:
New without tags: A brand-new, unused, and unworn item (including handmade items) that is not in original packaging or ... Read moreabout the condition
Jewelry Type:

Pin

Product:

Zulu Love Letter

Material:

Glass Beads

Region:

South Africa




African Zulu Love Letter Bead Pin Set #4


The beaded panel measures approximately 1.75" x 1.75".

Each piece is handmade on a safety pin so the love letter can be worn. 

 Each one tells a spectacular story which you can interpret using the color guide noted below. 

The Zulus are the largest tribe in Southern Africa, renowned for their artistry and craftsmanship. Many women make beautiful baskets and beadwork using traditional art forms in order to supplement their incomes. We work with several collectives that use these traditional art forms to help women and HIV psoitive individuals financially independent.

We also have Zulu love letter AIDS ribbons which are white with a bold red ribbon (all in beads - see picture at the bottom of this listing). As AIDS has so severely struck Africans, the symbol for AIDS has become integrated in the culture and handicrafts of the Zulus.

The Zulu Love Letter Story

To anyone acquainted with African Handicrafts, mention of Zulu beadwork conjures up visions of colorful and decorative ornaments, the most fascinating being the Zulu Love Letter ("iNcwadi Kuthanda").

Glass beads originally found their way into Zululand form the Portuguese Trading Station at Delaggoa Bay, and then later through European traders who settled in Zululand. When theyoung Zulu men left home to work on farms or distant towns, they had no knowledge of writing by which messages could be recorded, and so developed a form of symbolism, whereby messages were conveyed between lovers in "the language of beads". Thus was born the Zulu love letter. The Zulu maidens would "write letters" in beads to convey messages from the heart, or gentle reminders to their distant loves.

The first, and most simple "letter" was made by threading different coloured beads onto a single strand, and "reading" the colours form end to end. Later, the love letter took on the form of an ornamental square and the "message" is read form the outer edge towards the center.

They developed a simplified "dictionary" of colours, the meanings of which were derived from nature. It is impossible to give an exact interpretation of these colors, as they vary form area to area, but a general guideline of the most commonly used colors are as follows:

White (iThambo/Bone): Represents purity, cleanliness, true love and hope
Black (iSitimane/Shadow): Grief, loneliness, disappointment ("My heart has become as black as the rafters of the roof, as I hear you have another maiden").
Red (iGazi/Blood): Indicates intense love, longing ("My heart bleeds for you").
Ruby (uMliliwane/Flamess): She burns with love, as the flames of a grass fire.
Yellow (iNcombo/Young Corn): Represents wealth (or lack of it).
Green (uKuhlaza/New Grass): Implies love-sickness, jealousy ("I have become as thin as a blade of new grass from pining for you").
Blue (iJuba/Dove): Symbolizes faithfulness. Also calmness/cleanliness, as in the clear blue sky ("If I were a dove, I would fly the endless skies to you").
Light Turquoise (iFefe/Pigeon): He talks to much (fefeza), and cannot keep a secret.
Dark Turquoise (iJubatondo/Pigeon): Impatience ("I am losing hope that you will ever marry me".)
Pink (iSiphofu/Poor One): Signifies abject poverty. She doubts he will ever afford to pay her ìLoboloî (Bride price, paid in cattle).
Purple (obu-Khwebezane): New friendship
Brown (Nhiabathi/Soil): My love is like the earth which gives rise to new life.
Striped Beads (Ntothoviyane/Striped Grasshopper): Implies doubt, or accusations of fickleness, or two-timing. ("You are like the ntothoviyane, sprining from bush to bush").

 Purchase will be shipped once payment clears. New York State residents must add sales tax. See our other wonderful gift items and save on shipping by making multiple purchases. Email queries welcomed. Auction winner agrees to respond by email within 3 days and pay within 10.

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Check our our ebay store for other Zulu Love Letters, Baskets and Crafts.

 

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Please read our return policy in our listing. Check out our eBay Store for other zulu telephone wire and traditional baskets and crafts. We will combine store and auction items to help you save on shipping. Please email for shipping costs on multiple items. We will ship to PayPal unconfirmed addresses after payment clears. Uninsured items are shipped at the buyer's own responsibility. Thank you for shopping with Worldesigns.
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