Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

beaded apron
  • unknown Xhosa maker
  • beaded apron, mid 1900s
  • Where object was made: South Africa
  • cotton, pigment, animal skin, metal, beading, weaving, dyeing, appliqué
  • Object Height/Width: 93.5 x 44 cm
    Object Height/Width: 36 13/16 x 17 5/16 in
  • Gift from the Menninger Foundation
  • Not on display
  • 2007.6758

The rectangular apron is made from a repurposed cotton blanket rubbed with dark orange pigment. It has a thin band of animal skin at the top and the animal skin ties at either side of the band are secured on a gold colored metal ring. There are two panels, a short one over a long one.

The top panel is decorated for the entire length with white beaded zigzags with a line of light blue beads and dark blue applique above and below. The bottom of the panel has diagonal white lines that come to a point at the center, and diagonal white lines along the sides. The visible portion of the bottom panel is decorated with the same design.