South East African Beadwork 1850–1910: From Adornment to Artefact to Art

This book demonstrates the astonishing artistry of South East African Beadwork, its history from 1850–1910 and its development from adornment to artefact to art.
Stevenson, Michael; Graham-Stewart, Michael
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Title: South East African Beadwork 1850–1910
Subtitle: From Adornment to Artefact to Art
Author: Michael Stevenson; Michael Graham-Stewart
Publisher: Fernwood Press
Vlaeberg, South Africa 2000
ISBN 9781874950523 / ISBN 978-1-874950-52-3
Hardcover, dustjacket, 29 x 22 cm, 192 pages, throughtout colour and b/w photos and illustrations

About: South East African Beadwork 1850–1910: From Adornment to Artefact to Art

South East African Beadwork 1850–1910: From Adornment to Artefact to Art, the first book devoted to beadwork from the eastern regions of southern Africa, illustrates in full colour more than 260 pieces of beadwork dating from 1850 to 1910. It firmly places beadwork as an art form to be displayed in art galleries and researched by art historians rather than as an artefact of interest only to ethnographers. Based on the collection of art dealers Michael Stevenson and Michael Graham-Stewart, it demonstrates the breadth and astonishing artistry of women beadworkers from the subcontinent. The main focus of the collection is beadwork made by Zulu-speaking women in the Zulu kingdom and the Colony of Natal. There are also pieces produced by Xhosa-speaking women from the Eastern Cape and by Sotho women in the Drakensberg, as well as work from further north, traditionally ascribed to the Yao people in the eastern Zambian region. In an introductory essay, Sandra Klopper discusses the origins of beadwork in the region. The themes explored include the history of collecting beadwork, the changing value of beads, the influence of fashion and symbolism on the choice of colour in beadwork, the changing status of beadwork, and the issues of gender underlying the making and wearing of beadwork.

Content: South East African Beadwork 1850–1910

Foreword by M. Stevenson and M. Graham-Stewart
Introductory essay by Sandra Klopper:
From adornment to artefact to art. Historical perspectives on south-east African beadwork
Early collectors
Beads v. indigenous materials
The changing fortune of beads
Fashion v. the symbolic use of colour
Looking for meaning in style: ethnicity v. regionalism
The creative role of women
The role of beadwork in the articulation of male and female spheres of power and influence
Revisiting the past: proud owners of beadwork in the late 20th century
Maps of south-east Africa
South-east African beadwork 1850-1910: ILLUSTRATIONS