Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

wearing blanket
  • unknown Ndebele maker
  • wearing blanket, 1960–1982
  • Where object was made: Transvaal Province, Union of South Africa (present-day Mpumalanga province, South Africa)
  • wool, beading, weaving, dyeing
  • Object Height/Width: 149 x 149 cm
    Object Height/Width: 58 11/16 x 58 11/16 in
  • Gift of Reinhild Janzen
  • Not on display
  • 2007.6962
Label Text

The square woolen blanket have stripes in purple, orange, dark blue, green, and red. There are three beaded panels, two at the edge of one side and one at the edge of the other end on the opposite side. It was intended to be worn flipped down, showing all three panels at once. The beadwork is dark blue, green, and black with white detail. The designs are divided into rectangles with white lines. They include stepped diamonds in green or blue with white outlines, stepped chevrons, and composite geometric designs intended to be houses. It is netted along the bottom of each beaded panel.

This would normally be folded along one of the long sides, the blanket is draped under one arm and pinned at the other shoulder so the stripes on the short sides fall together. An Ndebele woman wears this for the first time at her wedding and the colors are chosen to harmonize with her house.