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African Beaded Skirt


Made of cotton strings, colored glass beads and white cowry shells

History of the Beaded Modesty apron (skirt) Northern Cameroon: Among some Cameroon groups, women simply wore modesty aprons also known as 'caches sexes’ literally  meaning- ‘to hide the sex’) until approximately 1961, when governmental restrictions required women to be fully clothed. However the tradition continues in a number of ornate beaded forms worn today.
Living in the area of the Mandara mountains, Matakam women of northern Cameroon wore modesty aprons made of small iron strips covering their groin area and held in place by a belt of fiber.  Geometric patterns found on the brightly colored beaded aprons reflect designs shared by a number of neighboring peoples. It is an example of how traditions are maintained in other forms and materials serving custom and aesthetic expression.

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