Tribal Dancer Xhosa Woman

Name: Tribal Dancer Xhosa Woman

Made by and When: Rootz Creation, c. 1980-1990

Material: Leather; brass brads for the shoulder, elbow, and knee joints; and string

Marks: None, has a hangtag

Height: 11 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Head is covered with a black cloth headwrap, pinned in place; no hair; painted facial features and tribal marks, smiling red-painted mouth

Clothes: Painted jewelry and painted torso, white cloth skirt has black rickrack trim at the hem.

Other: Made to dance by pulling the string, this flat leather figure represents a South African Xhosa woman tribal dancer. The bifold hangtag provides the following printed text,

“Pull my string

“Tribal Dancer

“The Xhosa women live in the eastern cape. They are distinguished by their layered cloth hats, ochre-colored shirts & wrap-around blankets, together with white and black beading. Beads are very important & are sewn onto most garments. The long beaded pipe is essential and is carried with a decorative smoking pouch.” (This figure does not have a pipe or smoking pouch. A pipe is illustrated on the front of the hangtag.)

The back of the hangtag reads, “Rootz Creation

” Individually handcrafted with genuine leather in Kwa-Zulu Natal. 031-7653556″ (probably the telephone number). “Fax 7652701.”


Watch the video below of a traditional Xhosa dance.

See a photo of Xhosa tribal women dancers here. Learn more about the Xhosa tradition and dance here.


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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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