By Charlotte Grieg, Robert Lee Humphrey
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Additional info for Africa (Cultures and Costumes)
Today, small numbers of the Khoikhoin live on reserves or among Europeans in South Africa and neighboring Namibia. They have adopted a primarily Western way of life, but a few still follow the traditional pastoral ways of life. These South African tribesmen wear animal skin loincloths with the fur worn against the skin. Their shields and assegais (spears) are also made of animal skin. For hunting, leather sandals are worn. 53 Africa p50-59 CH05 19/09/02 16:10 Page 54 AFRICA This Zulu chief wears a leopard skin on his chest and animal fur around his wrists and knees, indicating his status.
This woman’s garment is also decorated with a patterned motif around the bottom. from his neck to his feet, completely covering his body. He balances himself on stilts, which may be more than 10 feet (3 m) high, and he dances through the town, performing acrobatic tricks while chants are sung. The death masks often show the woman’s face with traditional scariﬁcation marks in the middle of the forehead and between the eyebrows. Scariﬁcation is a process whereby the skin is wounded so that raised scars develop.
Their tribal dress is now seen primarily at special events and ceremonies. Traditional costume includes a long turquoise necklace reaching to the waist, called a danga, which is worn by both men and women. The men also wear goatskin bags made by pulling the animal’s body out of its skin in such a way that the skin remains whole. 57 Africa p50-59 CH05 19/09/02 16:12 Page 58 AFRICA Young Xhosa girls wear a short, plain skirt and go bare-breasted. They also wear head cloths as a mark of respect to older tribe members.
Africa (Cultures and Costumes) by Charlotte Grieg, Robert Lee Humphrey