Esther Mahlangu


Esther Mahlangu is a folk artist from South Africa. She is from the Ndebele tribe which lives throughout the Northern part of the country (my friend says). The Ndebele wear simply patterned or very ornate bead rings, aprons, and headbands that women gain through different life experiences (marriage, maidenhood etc...).

Esther has enjoyed widespread popularity for over 20 years and recently worked with BMW to create a brightly colored car. In addition she and John Legend worked together on behalf of Belvedere for the RED campaign.  

The patterns they use are often primary colored and geometric, a style of beading that is uniquely theirs. The stitch commonly referred to as Herringbone stitch in beadwork is actually the Ndebele stitch.

I have several pieces from the tribe and the use it on their beaded rings, aprons and all sorts of amazing arts and crafts.

Definitely my favorite tribal beadwork from South Africa.