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  • Photograph of Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi surrounded by members of the Zulu tribe.
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Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi in western dress surrounded by members of the Zulu tribe.
Dick Durrance II/National Geographic Image Collection

Africa

South Africa

In the southern part of Africa, the Zulus are also famous for their beaded adornments. Women are the traditional bead workers in Zulu culture and create colourful beaded neck, arm and leg adornments. Like Yoruba beadwork, Zulu examples convey symbolic meanings, however rather than being expressions of political power, much of Zulu beadwork functions as a form of personal communication conveying messages such as love.