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These beaded belts, scarves, or aprons (Ive heard them described by all of these) were worn by Kirdi girls and women, fastened around the hips or waist. This example is probably mid 20th century. I bought some of these in the mid '90's and aside from being displayed now and then, they've been tucked away ever since.

The seed beads used in making this belt are small and irregular, one way of recognizing the age. The colors and color combination is another indicator. The cowrie shells are worn smooth along the cut edges, evidence of constant wear.

This is a genuine vintage piece, was worn by tribal women, and has some threads slubbing here and there, but no breaks or loose threads. There are no holes, missing beads, or pulled threads.

18" by 5" The strings measure an additional 9" each.

If you are planning on wearing this belt, it might be a good idea to tack it to a piece of canvas or muslin, with some sort of decorative ties already attached. Vogue has shown these used as scarves...

Modern versions, created for the tourist market, generally feature seed beads uniform in size and shape, woven in repeat geometric patterns, using basic primary colors. They are quite attractive and the geometric patterns are also traditional. A geometric design is faster and easier to weave than planning out a tapestry design like this one.

SHIPPING: Shipping quote is for Regular USA Postal service. If you want tracking or insurance PLEASE REQUEST -This will be an additional fee. I scan all US Customs materials and will forward the information, but I can't control or track International shipments once they've left US shores, and am not responsible if the item is damaged or lost..

Vintage African woven bead belt apron scarf


  • Vintage item from the 1950s
  • Materials: glass seed beads, cotton string and cords
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 459 reviews
  • Favorited by: 12 people