Beaded Apron (Jocolo), 20th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Throughout their lives, Southern African Ndebele women wear various aprons that mark stages of social advancement. Pre-adolescent girls wear an apron of one solid piece, called a "ghabi"; when they reach adolescence, they start wearing a "pepitu", recognizable by its simple embellishment and lack of flaps. After marriage, a woman wears more elaborately adorned aprons: the "mapoto", for everyday use, has two square flaps; the "jocolo", with five rounded flaps, is typically reserved for special occasions. The "jocolo" on display here is made with very small glass beads, suggesting it was made between 1900 and 1950. After that time, larger beads—some made of plastic—became more popular.

Beaded Apron (Jocolo)
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.