Ju/Wasi beaded Necklace or Headband

  • Tribe: J/Wasi
  • Origin: Namibia, Southern Africa
  • Approx Age: 1930-1950
  • Materials: Glass Beads
  • Dimensions cm: 75 long x 3.5 wide
  • Ref. Number: 0443

An amazing and rare Ju/Wasi beaded necklace or headband from Namibia Southern Africa. Ju/Wasi people are rivals to the Zulu people. This necklace or headband has a beautiful and delicate styled pattern.

When Dutch settlers first arrived in southern Africa in 1652, they
called the original inhabitants “Bushmen.” For the next two centuries, the European newcomers waged a grim and successful war of extermination in the south, in what is presently the Republic of South Africa. To the north, the “Bushmen” of the Kalahari Desert
escaped the fate of their southern cousins, probably because of the
inaccessibility and relative uselessness of their dry land to the European settlers. Today, only about 40,000 “Bushmen” remain, living in the Republic of Botswana (formerly British-ruled Bechuanaland), Namibia (the South Africa-ruled territory that was formerly German South West Africa), and to a lesser degree in Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The term “Bushmen” is rarely used today by scholars because of
its derogatory connotations. It has been replaced in the literature
by “San,” a word the cattle-herding, nomadic Khoi-Khoi (also
known as Hottentot) use to refer to their neighbours. As anthropologist Richard Lee points out, however, even this word is not really satisfactory, meaning “rascal” as well as “aborigine” in the KhoiKhoi language (1979:30). In fact, there is a great diversity in both language and self-appellation among the San people~ now divided by linguists into three broad groupings: southern San, Tshu-kwe speakers, and northern San.

The northern San, who number over 15,000, live largely in Namibia,
Botswana, and Angola. All northern San speak a language
known as ‘Kung. !Kung speakers are themselves divided into three
major groups. One of these groups includes 6,000 San in Namibia
and Botswana who call themselves Ju/wasi (or Zhu/twasi), “the true
people.” In the Kung language, ju means “Person;” wa mea’ns “true,
pure, real ;” and si is the plural suffix. N!ai, the Story of a !Kung
Woman was filmed among the Ju/wasi of northeastern Namibia.

Before 1950, the Ju/wasi of the Kalahari Desert had little sustained
contact with Europeans, although they had traded and occasionally
fought with Bantu peoples in the area, particularly Herero pastoralists to the east.