This magnificent example of an isikoti is made up of 13 layers of beadwork,plus the band of white beads with tassels at the shoulders.These rare and superb capes embody a living history of beadworking styles, since each layer each made by a different member of the family and given to the bride to be when she visits to tell them of the impending marriage. The beaded panels are joined into one to make the cape, (isikoti) before the wedding ceremony takes place.
If the bride marries before giving birth to a child,strings of beads are hung from the shoulders as a symbol of virginity,since they are strung from beads taken from the belt she wore when she reached puberty.
Because each layer is beaded by a different person, with contributions from grandmothers, mothers, and family members,it truly represents a history of beadworking styles. The rows at the bottom are beaded by older women in the old fashioned style, and the rows closer to the top by younger family members and friends in more modern style.
These heavy capes are genuine heirlooms and very rarely come onto the market. Size 109 x 86 cm / 43 x 34 inches.