Ill's! introduced to Alt ka when Ihoy were used Id shave heads tor funcT.ils or sj*e< occasions. The women were given the dulled blades tor trimming threads from their head-work. lilt: geometric shape provided inspiration lor their wall d«* orations .inri bcadwórk tor whit h it now provides .i i hnracierislit I« xjk_

cloll ¡inc.. and acxessckes

Ndebele Ixwled ^annenK5ignii\ s|X'dfi< traditions and the wearer's status within the tribe. Styles of aprons for women and tfirls in«, lurk* the llghabi, worn before marriage; the isiphetu. signifying availability for marriage; I he llphotii, worn when iusl married and be ton* i hiidren; and the no'.'.ol.) 11 it- most Important apron vyhic li shows thai the women have children and an* thus valuable members of the tribe*.

I he Ndelx»le women wear a blanket when outdoors that is l>ea<Je<] along the edge according to the age and skill of the wearer. A woman will head a piece tor her blanket to commemorate significant events in her life itnd lln- life ni her family. Headed rings,«ailed ;;alwani, are i in lets of grass wound with beads thai are worn on the amis and legs as signs of wealth*

Mriehele women's wedding oullits consist of a goatskin or < loth i ape jlinga), a headed veil, and a beaded stick, often shaped like a telephone (Mile. The liphotu apron has ,i main beaded panel with Ixuded tassels and anc il t'ary panels on eat h side.

Women whose sons are initialed into the tribe wear Inn?» tears or linga koba. These panels signify ihe sprrow of losing a son to adulthood and the joy of Iks reaching manhood. They are worn suspended trom a narrow headband and re.u li to the ground.

Ihe fertility doll is mark* by mothers anrl danghteis for young gills to keep during c ourtship and maniage Om.e she has had her lirst baby, a young woman must destroy I lit.* «loll because it is no longer heeded Nowadays, these dolls are frequently made foi tourists

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