The fringed iGabe is worn as a sole nether garment by young girls (I have seen tiny ones made for toddlers). In the 2oth century, as the child became older, the iGabe was covered by a short black trade cloth “skating” skirt called iSkotch (Scots) , introduced by the Scottish Presbyterian missionaries. Later, when the girl reached puberty, this was replaced by the isiPhephetu, the small rectangular beaded skirt that indicated readiness for marriage – but I believe the iGabe only ceased to be worn after marriage, when the long fore and aft aprons of a married woman were put on. This is a large igabe made to ensure the modesty of a young woman. As usual, the thick string fringe is weighed down by a triple threading of large white pony beads for modesty’s sake. The beaded panel at the top, sewn onto canvas, is an exceptional example of 1960s style and colours. A fine collector’s piece. Please note: This piece shows wear where the canvas backing was worn next to the skin. Size 34 x 28 cm /13 1/2 x 11 inches.