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Los Angeles

Fowler Museum at UCLA

Exhibition Detail
Powerful Bodies: Zulu Arts of Personal Adornment
North Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

October 13th, 2013 - March 2nd, 2014
October 13th, 2013 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
© Courtesy of Fowler Museum at UCLA
culver city/west la
Wed, Fri-Sun 12-5pm; Thurs 12-8pm

In nineteenth-century southern Africa, highly individualized arts of personal adornment experienced a florescence among isi-Zulu-speakers, people now called “the Zulu.” Personal objects worn on or carried around the body were made with considerable aesthetic investment and announced status and identity. Intimate objects like ivory hairpins and snuff spoons were worn in elaborate hairstyles; beautifully crafted snuff bottles were worn against the body, suspended from belts and necklaces; and finely sculpted staffs and clubs carried by all adult men were prized possessions. Men and women wore intricately sewn, jewel-colored beadwork to accentuate bodily “zones of power”: necklaces drew attention to the head; beaded fringes and belts highlighted the reproductive organs; and bracelets and anklets emphasized the hands and feet. Powerful Bodies includes seventy-nine fine examples of such objects, which are often imbued with the physical traces of their former users.

A Fowler at Fifty exhibition

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