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Married Woman’s Headdress (Isicholo)

During the nineteenth century, the isicholo was a distinctive hairstyle that identified a Zulu woman as married; over time it has become a detachable headdress, which varies in form from cylindrical to flaring, depending on regional preferences. Frequently decorated with beadwork, the isicholo today is worn primarily on special or ceremonial occasions.

Zulu peoples, South Africa
Married Woman’s Headdress (Isicholo)
20th century
Cloth, fiber, hair, red ochre
Diam. 18 1/8 in. (46 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Budd Stalnaker, 2006.369