The attire of the Ndebele, or the Matabele, is characterised by an abundance of ornaments and jewellery that, as well as being a beauty tool, also symbolise the status of a woman in the society. Traditionally, the Ndebele women adorned themselves with several pieces of jewellery that increased in number after their wedding, combined with elaborate and spectacular costumes.
After the wedding the Ndebele brides wore copper and brass rings around their arms, legs and neck to symbolize the bond with their husband and their devotion to him. The Ndebele women would wear these rings until their husband’s death, after his death they would have to remove them all. The number of rings also indicated the man’s wealth, the richer the husband, the more rings the wife would wear.
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