This fine ceremonial skirt from the Iraqw culture of central-north Tanzania is made from animal hide, which has been beautifully decorated with small coloured glass beads in an array of abstract designs.
The skirts were made by young girls as part of the Iraqw women’s initiation ritual known as Marmo. Through participation in Marmo, Iraqw girls transitioned from puberty into womanhood. Their beaded ceremonial skirts were a display of their dexterity.
Iraqw skirts are amongst the most elaborately decorated beaded costumes from the African continent.
Estimated Period: First Half of 20th Century
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