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Leg bands

Leather and hair

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Leg bands from southern Africa

These are two leg bands made from leather and hair. They are part of the ceremonial dress of the Zulu people, from southern Africa.

Only males are allowed to wear these bands, which can also be worn on the upper arm and are made of leather belts with cow tails hanging from them. The intention is to give the appearance of greater bulk, and they would have been accompanied by aprons made of calf skins, a headband and, if the person were of high status, the skin of a leopard. The rules on women's clothing is also strict, with different types of clothing worn by single women, engaged women and married women.

Museum object number REDMG : 2007.539.1-2

See related topic: World Collection: Belief

See related topic: World Collection: Ornamentation