The Beaded Figurine of a Girl is a type of figure that developed from the traditional corncob doll that was used to teach young girls how to nurture children. The body of the beaded figurine has a similar silhouette to an ear of corn, and this columnar figure illustrates an ideal of beauty for this culture. This beaded figurine also wears traditional Ndebele dress; the metallic rings around the neck and the beaded body likely represent the neck rings of brass and beads that Ndebele women wear. Figurines such as these were also sometimes worn around the neck of a young girl to show that she was available for marriage.
Since beaded figurines began to be made for sale, they have largely lost their traditional use, and new versions have arms and legs and sometimes wear clothing, to appeal to the tourist trade. Researched by Kylei Giles
For more information, you may contact the researcher(s) noted in the title of this exhibit entry, or Dr. Billie Follensbee, the professor of the course, at BillieFollensbee@MissouriState.edu