In Pictures: Ndebele Maternity Outfit Leaves social media in Awe
A stunning Ndebele maternity outfit designed by Zana ‘Kay has taken social media by storm, leaving people in awe of its beauty and cultural significance.
Zana ‘Kay, a proud Ndebele woman, decided to create her own maternity attire to celebrate her culture and showcase the authentic story of her roots, reflecting the essence of African fashion.
For Zana ‘Kay, pregnancy represented a spiritual journey—a time to reflect on her identity, heritage, and the path she was embarking on. She meticulously crafted her maternity apron, known as Ingcayo, predominantly using goat and cow hides.
In Ndebele culture, it is customary for the in-laws to gift a pregnant woman a goat as a symbol of honoring the pregnancy and the unborn child. Thus, the goat hide served as the canvas on which Zana ‘Kay aimed to narrate her unique journey.
Traditionally, the goat skin was used to create the Ingcayo, an apron that covered the pregnant woman’s belly. After giving birth, the Ingcayo would be repurposed as a baby carrier or a warm blanket.
Zana ‘Kay followed this tradition by using the same cowhide she used for her maternity outfit to fashion a baby carrier.
The intricate beadwork on the maternity outfit tells Zana ‘Kay’s personal story. The colors of gold, blue, brown, and black were meticulously woven together.
In Nguni culture, the diamond shape symbolizes marital status, indicating that Zana ‘Kay was married.
The upward-pointing triangle represents masculine elements, signifying that she was carrying a male child.
Additionally, two other cowhide triangles represent important male figures in Zana ‘Kay’s life, symbolizing their strong connections.
The circle motif represents the sunrise, symbolizing new beginnings and a bright future. Every mother’s wish is for her child to bring light and blessings.
The gold beads represent abundance, wealth, and royalty, while the black beads symbolize strength, power, and spirituality. The blue beads represent peace, faithfulness, and fidelity.
Zana ‘Kay painstakingly hand-beaded the goat hide, cowhide, and leather to convey her story as a modern Ndebele woman, paying homage to the beautiful journey of her pregnancy.
The Ndebele maternity outfit designed by Zana ‘Kay has captivated social media users with its intricate craftsmanship, cultural significance, and the artist’s personal story.
It serves as a testament to the richness and beauty of African fashion, showcasing the pride and creativity of the Ndebele culture.