Traditional South African dress consisted of bright clothing, animal skins and beads. A woman traditionally wore a skirt with a beaded apron on top, a beaded bodice, and jewelry on the neck, arm and legs. A man traditionally wore animal skins or loincloths, as well as beaded necklaces.
Those in authority wore special animal-skins and colorful ornaments. The Zulu diviner wore clothing designed to please snakes. A woman's traditional dance costume was made entirely out of beads, while a teenage girl traditionally wore a double-layered cloth skirt and a beaded bodice to special occasions, such as a wedding. A beaded cloak on a woman often indicated that she was married.