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Snuff Container and Spoon, 1920s
Eastern Cape, South Africa; Xhosa, Mpondo
Glass beads, gourd, wood, bone, H: 5 1/4 in, W: 3 in, D: 3 in
Bequest of Mary Josephine Taylor, 1942  42.622
Not On View
Interpretation: The beadwork of Xhosa-speaking peoples is notable not only for its aesthetic splendor, but for the key social roles it played in Xhosa culture. Made solely by women, beadwork items were statements of identity, status, and fashion. These beadwork accessories are related to tobacco smoking, believed to foster communication with the spiritual world.
Provenance: Mary Josephine Taylor, New Jersey, until 1942, Newark Museum, gift, 1942
Exhibition History:
"Arts of Africa," permanent galleries, Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey (installed 2008).