Dress - African Women's Group, Setswane, Blue Cotton, Melbourne, circa 1990-1992 Object Reg. No: SH 920671

Alternative Name(s): Chikisa
Dress made by the African Women's Group, circa 1990-1992 in Melbourne. This item is one of nine purchased from the African Women's Group, which was established in 1984 by Amelia Sello, an immigrant from South Africa.

This dress comes from the Setswane tradition. It is given to a woman by her mother-in-law as a sign of acceptance into the new family. It symbolises reaching womanhood, and its wearer receives respect. It is worn at first with dowry items, and must be of this pattern and colour.
A sleeveless cotton dress of cotton, printed in dark blue with a white dotted check pattern. The dress is waisted. The skirt is slightly flared from the waistband and gathered at an inserted band halfway down the skirt. There are two bands of horizontal pin tucking on the skirt, and two patch pockets. The bodice has a scalloped neckline, trimmed with the same fabric, reverse side showing.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 97.00 cm (Height), 110.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: handcrafts, cultural maintenance, rites of passage, ethnic groups, south africa culture, south african communities, south african immigration
Themes this item is part of: Amelia Sello, South African Migrant & Artist, 1984, Immigration & Artistic Practice Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: regional costume
Maker: African Women's Group, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1990-1992
Other Association (See Comments): Africa

This dress is part of the Setswane tradition. Setswane is a language spoken in Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
References: Contemporary Craft and Cultural Identity Project, by Deborah Tout- Smith and Anna Malgorzewicz for MoV and Monash University History Dept, 1992.

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