This beautiful beaded neck tie with a bib collar is traditionally for men but in modern days has become unisex.
Xhosa beadwork has been documented as early as the 1820s. Because beads were expensive, their use distinguished the wealthy from the mass of Xhosa society and beadwork came to represent a woman’s dowry. Traditionally, beadwork was made as a token of love from a woman to her man, but modern beadwork is made for commercial purposes. People were also traditionally buried with their prize possessions, which usually included their beadwork.
White is the predominant color in Xhosa beadwork and has always been closely identified with the culture. The pieces have the feeling of fabric and drape around the body.
Uniquely, Xhosa men amass and wear quantities of beadwork (made by female admirers). Men and women both wear beaded openwork bib collars that have the look of lace. Tremendous individuality reigns in Xhosa beadwork design.
Today. most Xhosa beadwork is evolving, with contemporary work being done primarily with larger beads and less traditional colors. This differs in style and function from traditional work.