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Seed Beads and Romance in India and South Africa

India: Bastar District, Madhya Pradesh, remains a bastion of tribal (Adavasi) groups. One of the largest is the Maria Ghond.
Young women of the tribe make necklaces from seed beads and give them to boys they like. If the boy shares her attraction, he will wear them.
Young men make combs and give them to girls. A popular girl will sport a dozen or more, but when she becomes serious about one boy she returns all but his.

Among the Zulu of South Africa, girls make "love letters," small squares of beadwork, to convey all sorts of messages, especially on matters of the heart,
This example is far more gaudy than genuine ones. It was made for the tourist trade.

Donor: Patti


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