Beaded Kirdi Apron

Regular price $113.00 Save $-113.00

Origin: Cameroon 
Composition: Gloss beads, cowrie shells, fiber.
Dimension : 19"x 10"
Weight : App. 1 Lb. 

Beaded apron from the Kirdi ethnic people in Northwestern Cameroon. Meticulously weaved by the Kirdi women, this piece of art (also called “cache sex”) has for function to hide women’s pubic. The pattern for the design is very elaborate with symbolic motifs. Kirdi women used to wear beaded aprons over their naked body during traditional celebratory dances. In 1961, the Cameroonian government imposed a new dress code regarding the use of the Kirdi Apron. Under the new regulation, women have to be fully clothed under the cache sex. The weaving of a single apron can take up to two weeks. Often, women work on those pieces at the end of the day, after farming work. Originally, Kirdi Aprons were made with bronze or iron pieces held by a fiber string and tied around the waist. History: Cowry shells were used for centuries as currency in some parts of Africa. Now they are very present in artworks. Beads arrived in Cameroon from Egypt and Middle East during the slave trade. They were used as currency. The access to bead artwork was limited to dignitaries, this has changed since. Still, in present days wearing precious pearls show financial and social status. Fibers used for the weaving are very resistant and can last for generations. Each apron is unique. Kirdi beaded pieces are full of tradition and history. They are great ornaments for any room.